© Gordon Welters / Greenpeace
Responding to the German government’s plans for the immediate closure of eight of the country's nuclear power plants, Greenpeace has hailed the move as a very important step towards ending nuclear power globally. However, delaying the closure of the remaining nine plants is both dangerous and unnecessary.
Every year spent relying on nuclear power is another year spent courting the next Fukushima crisis. Germany could phase out nuclear power as soon as 2015 without depending on imported power or locking itself into fossil fuel technologies.
Research by Greenpeace shows that it is possible for Germany, the world’s fourth largest economy, to shut all 17 of its nuclear reactors by 2015, without reliance on nuclear power imports or locking into fossil fuel technologies, by rapidly replacing the reactors with a combination of renewable energy and efficiency measures.
By waving goodbye to nuclear power, Germany has shown that with real vision and determination any country can get rid of risky, dirty and outdated energy sources, and replace them with already available 21st-century renewable and energy efficient technologies. With Japan and Switzerland also moving away from nuclear, other countries need to wake up and embrace clean energy, or risk being left behind.
By hanging on to fossil and nuclear addictions, we are not only gambling with the planet’s future, we’re wasting time and money. A world powered by renewable energy is within our grasp – and Germany has shown that a combination of popular support and political courage can make this happen.
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A recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) found that just 2.5% of viable renewable energy sources could provide up to 80% of world energy demand by 2050 with currently available technologies. Read the Special Report on Renewable Energy, May 2011.
Greenpeace’s Energy [R]evolution was chosen as one of the lead scenarios of the IPCC report. It offers a sustainable path to quit dirty, dangerous fuels by transitioning to renewable energy and energy efficiency.