The Federal Minister of Economics opens the door for the temporary continued operation of two nuclear power plants – in an emergency. But the Greens have yet to convince their base of this idea, the FDP does not go far enough with Habeck’s proposal and CDU leader Merz suspects secret motives.
In the traffic light coalition, after the proposals of Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck for a limited nuclear power plant reserve, a row is emerging. Due to the energy crisis in Europe triggered by Russia, two of the three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany are to serve as emergency reserves until mid-April.
However, the FDP does not go far enough with Habeck. The liberals are unhappy that only two out of three possible nuclear power plants are to be held in reserve. “It is a matter of common sense to enable every climate-neutral kilowatt hour now. Because the gas power plants drive up the prices,” wrote FDP Vice Johannes Vogel on Twitter. Vogel continues: “Habeck’s emergency reserve is a step, but also appears as a political emergency exit. The FDP stays tuned: For the continued operation of the 3 nuclear power plants!”
Group leader Christian Dürr told the “Bild” that the proposals were not enough to reduce electricity prices. “We have to extend the transit times, otherwise there will be absurd costs for consumers.”
The top of the Union parliamentary group also criticized the decision of the federal government as a fatal mistake and motivated by party politics. “In this crisis, these three nuclear power plants could deliver energy, electricity for Germany safely, reliably and affordably. And they should do that for at least the next two winters,” said Union faction leader Jens Spahn (CDU). Not only the opposition Union, but also the FDP, which is part of the government, were the first to advocate continued operation of the nuclear power plants.
CSU boss Markus Söder was disappointed with the results of the nuclear power plant stress test. “Robert Habeck accepts the risk of a blackout and further increases in electricity prices,” criticized Söder.
The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz criticized the planned decommissioning of the Emsland nuclear power plant. “The Greens in the traffic lights in Berlin have obviously been put under pressure by the Greens in Lower Saxony to switch off the Emsland nuclear power plant against all reason,” Merz told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. “Green sensitivities seem to be more important to the Scholz government than the risk of a power failure. I have absolutely no sympathy for such a roulette game with our energy supply.”
Habeck, on the other hand, received encouragement from the coalition partner SPD. Group Vice President Matthias Miersch welcomed the stress test result and Habeck’s recommendation as “a good basis for fact-based and careful advice”. “I would also like to see the same from those who are already crying out for an extension of the term before the results are announced,” said Miersch. “The stress test shows: Atom is not the general solution that many people want.”
The two chairmen of Habeck’s Greens parliamentary group, Britta Haßelmann and Katharina Dröge, also supported the minister. “Since we have a tense winter ahead of us, the Economics Minister proposes putting two nuclear power plants in reserve for the winter months as a one-off. This means that they will go off the grid as planned at the end of the year and will only be reactivated in an emergency, by decision of the Bundestag, ”explained the two politicians.
The Green tip now wants to be the basis for the project. “The decision also shows that Putin’s war is forcing us to find solutions that we could not have foreseen,” said co-head Omid Nouripour. “We will therefore not only put the arms deliveries to Ukraine to the vote at the party congress, but also the limited nuclear power plant reserve.”
Green Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke also supported the decision to keep two of the three remaining nuclear power plants as emergency reserves. “I have always said that we will evaluate the result of the stress test soberly when it is available,” said the minister on Monday evening. “In view of the difficult situation, Robert Habeck’s proposal to have a reserve capacity for emergency operations is reasonable.”