Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Nuclear Renaissance, in Germany?

In two previous posts, "Build Wind, Drop Nuclear? Germany Loses its Mind!" and the follow up post "Germany Loses its Mind- Follow Up" I wrote about how the German government was looking to decommission nuclear plants in favor of building 17 wind farms. As you can tell from the above titles and posts, I think it was a pretty bad decision.

However, there has been a ray of hope! I found this article on Platts titled "Germany's RWE to build new nuclear plants at home, abroad." The CEO, Juergen Grossman stated the following to the German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, (as reported by Platts):

"RWE will engage in projects in Germany as well as abroad. An exact number will depend on the financing options available and possible partners, but we reckon about three to five new builds."

Well, it seems like Herr Grossman has the inside track. Maybe Germany has figured out that there is a real need for clean, reliable, nuclear power and that it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game with wind power.

Interestingly, he also makes this statement, that on first blush, is counter intuitive, considering the enormous capital costs surrounding the construction of nuclear facilities:

"Grossman believes the credit crunch provides an opportunity for RWE to grow as people look to greater security in their energy supplies. The crisis may require affected governments to reduce the amount of imported natural gas and re-focus on national resources, such as nuclear or clean coal technology, he said."

Let's hope that Germany can get back on the nuclear track while it lives out its wind fantasy.

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