At the other end of the spectrum is Germany, where nuclear accounts for just above 6% of the domestic energy mix. Back in 2002, it adopted a law banning new nuclear power plants, with the remaining three – Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland
– shut down last weekend. This move has evoked a mixed response from the public. More than twenty international scientists, including Nobel laureates, called on the German Chancellor in an open letter
to keep the remaining plants online, while a survey by the opinion research institute YouGov has found that only 26% of Germans fully support a complete phase-out of nuclear power.
As Germany bids such a resolute farewell to nuclear power, the question arises as to how it is going to replace it. Today, the two available options are wind and coal, which accounted for 22% and 31% of the country’s power mix in 2022, respectively (see Fig. 3). While the former fits well into Germany’s climate agenda as it aims for 100% renewable power by 2035,
the latter could prompt major concerns. But by the looks of it, Germany has no other choice – at least for now.