Coal and nuclear phase-out – discussion on postponement has begun

Energy prices are rising and the supply situation is becoming increasingly uncertain. Now North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister President Hendrik Wüst is calling for a postponement of the coal and nuclear phase-out. “Given the current situation, even the German government can hardly come to any other conclusion,” Wüst says. This is how Wüst started the political discussion on the coal and nuclear phase-out.


CDU politician Hendrik Wüst calls for coal and nuclear phase-out to be postponed

The CDU politician Hendrik Wüst argues with the impending bottlenecks in energy imports. That is why he is openly in favor of changing the phase-out plans from coal and nuclear power that have already been decided. “This year, 1.6 gigawatts of power generation are actually scheduled to come off the grid in NRW,” Wüst told WirtschaftsWoche“There is much to be said for not shutting down these power plant capacities for good, but putting them in reserve to allow for additional security of supply.”

Coal and nuclear phase-out - discussion on postponement has begun. Hendrik Wüst wants to postpone coal and nuclear phase-out.
Coal and nuclear phase-out – discussion on postponement has begun. Hendrik Wüst wants to postpone coal and nuclear phase-out.
Image: Olaf Kosinsky, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

NRW must implement promises made by the federal government

Wüst emphasized that the coal phase-out could not be achieved without a significant contribution from NRW. The climate protection plan stipulates that only power plants on the Rhine and Ruhr are to be taken off the grid by 2028. According to Wüst, North Rhine-Westphalia would therefore have to deliver what the federal government promises.


Government can hardly come to a different conclusion on coal and nuclear phase-out

Wüst is also in favor of extending the operating times for the three nuclear power plants still in operation. “With a view to the grids, it is important to generate energy where it is needed, if possible. In view of the uncertain situation, existing conventional power plants should be put in reserve where technically possible to ensure a contribution to stable supply,” Wüst says in this regard. Ultimately, the Greens in the traffic light government could hardly come to a different conclusion in view of the current situation.

Nuclear phase-out – last ideological bastion of the Greens

However, a postponement of the nuclear phase-out will meet with massive resistance from the Greens. After all, the party was born out of the anti-nuclear movement. However, this is also the last ideological path on which they have not yet made a U-turn since they have been in government. It will be interesting to see how the discussion develops in the coming weeks and months.

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