The Emsland nuclear power plant in Lower Saxony – unlike the other two remaining nuclear power plants in Germany – is to be taken off the grid on December 31 in any case. This decision caused more and more criticism.

One reading goes like this: We generate electricity on ships by using oil, but switch off our nuclear power plants to do so, although they still contain functioning fuel rods and no additional nuclear waste would be produced.

The other reading is: We want the safest production of electricity there is, and that’s why we shut down nuclear power plants as quickly as possible and as regulated by law. The electorate can form their own opinion – and the discussion is symbolic of the complexity of the current energy discussion.

Now save articles for later in “Pocket”.

It’s about the Emsland nuclear power plant in Lower Saxony, which, unlike the other two remaining nuclear power plants in Germany, is to be taken off the grid on December 31 in any case.

This decision by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) generates ever sharper criticism. The CDU and the Lower Saxony FDP suspect election campaign tactics by the Greens behind this decision, after all there will be state elections in Lower Saxony at the beginning of October.

Habeck decided against continued operation “so that the Greens in Lower Saxony do not have to exchange their election posters,” Jens Spahn told the Berliner Zeitung.

The decision of the Federal Minister of Economics places “party ideology before the interests of Germany and Europe for a stable energy supply”.

His argument behind the accusation is that so-called “power barges” should be used in the north.

These are quasi mobile power plants, oil is converted to electricity on ships: “The Federal Minister of Economics prefers to rely on fossil, environmentally hazardous energy in the form of floating oil power plants instead of continuing to operate the safe, climate-neutral nuclear power plant in Emsland.”

There are a few unanswered questions about the “Power Barges”. The Federal Ministry of Economics has not yet responded to a request regarding the specific plans for the floating power plants. Among other things, our editorial staff wanted to know if, when and how many “power barges” would be used and how much electricity they should supply.

The “Power Barges” have become important for the Lower Saxony election campaign and the Germany-wide discussion about Habeck’s credibility, because the official justification of the Federal Ministry of Economics for the end of the Emsland nuclear power plant was: “Other, less risky instruments can be used for the northern German region”. .

Surf tip: You can find all the news about the corona pandemic in the FOCUS Online news ticker

For example, “additional oil power plants in the form of power plant ships” could be used here in the short term. These would not be available for the Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim 2 nuclear power plants.

For a Green Economics and Climate Minister, it makes a big difference whether you shut down the Emsland nuclear power plant because there is enough wind power in the region – or because you get enough electricity from such floating oil power plants.

The Emsland nuclear power plant is considered one of the safest in the world. Another question is the costs: How expensive a kilowatt hour from a “power barge” is compared to that produced in the Emsland nuclear power plant is not transparently presented.

One thing is certain: the generators of “Power Barges” are driven by oil. According to the Turkish supplier Karpowership, its power plants achieve an output of up to 470 megawatts.

They are designed in such a way that they “can be used in different places in the world in the short, medium and long term to supply the host country’s grid with electricity for base load, medium power or peak load”.

The number of “power barges” has been increasing steadily since the 1990s. Typical Karpowership projects take place off the coasts of Ghana, Sudan or Senegal. And probably soon before the German one.

The article “Oil power plants instead of safe nuclear power plants? The Habeck Plan is becoming more and more absurd” comes from WirtschaftsKurier.