Germany will close its 17 nuclear power plants – which generate one-quarter of the country’s electricity – by 2022, following the partial nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan in March.
In a high-risk move, accompanied by industry warnings about price rises, chancellor Angela Merkel committed Europe’s largest economy to doubling the amount of electricity from renewable sources to 35 per cent this decade.
Ms Merkel had previously decided to prolong the operating lives of Germany’s nuclear plants by 14 years to 2036. She described the policy U-turn on Monday as “a big challenge”, though one that could put Germany at the forefront of green technology. “We have the chance of becoming the first big industrial nation to make the switch to renewable energy,” she said after her Christian Union party and their Free Democrat coalition partners agreed a series of measures.
Opinion polls show most Germans dislike nuclear energy. Ms Merkel previously defended the industry as a necessary bridge to more widespread use of renewable energy.
消息传出后，可再生能源类股票价格飙升。挪威太阳能集团“可再生能源公司”(Renewable Energy Corp)上涨3.7%，规模较小的德国竞争对手Solarworld上涨8.8%，丹麦风力发电机制造商维斯塔斯(Vestas)上涨2.7%。
Share prices for renewables surged on the news. Norway’s Renewable Energy Corp, a solar power group, gained 3.7 per cent, its smaller German rival Solarworld was up 8.8 per cent and Vestas, the Danish wind turbine maker, rose 2.7 per cent.
In a blow to nuclear groups Eon, RWE, Eon and Vattenfall, Berlin decided not to abolish a nuclear fuel-rod tax, arguing the tax bill would fall from €2.3bn to €1.3bn ($3.3bn to $1.8bn) as plants closed this year.
Investors sold stock in the two biggest German utilities. Eon and RWE shares lost two per cent as the day’s big losers on the Frankfurt stock exchange. Hans-Peter Keitel, head of German industry association BDI, meanwhile, warned of “certain” electricity price increases for industry, and called upon the government to maintain assistance to energy-intensive industry sectors.
Ms Merkel’s sudden rush into a speedy nuclear exit has tactical underpinnings, as it opens her conservatives to a possible coalition with the anti-nuclear – and currently wildly popular – Greens after the 2013 election.
In a bid to gain support for her plan from opposition Greens and Social Democrats, Ms Merkel agreed to restart the search for a nuclear waste storage facility, currently planned for Gorleben in central Germany.
Because the federal networks regulator warned of possible winter blackouts, the government will keep one of eight older plants as an emergency reserve if demand spikes.
Berlin will ease planning procedures to ensure investors build wind turbines, gas-fired power stations, transmission networks and pump-storage facilities.
2011-05-31 09:28 编辑：典典
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