German Parliament Votes for Phase-Out

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted June 30, 2011

On Thursday, the German parliament’s lower house, Bundestag, voted on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s nuclear phase-out bill.

The results were overwhelming.

The house majority voted for the plan, 513-79 in favor, confirming with very near certainty that the plan will be executed.

The vote will go to the upper house, the Bundesrat, on July 8.

The phase-out plan, you may recall, would shut down all 17 of Germany’s nuclear reactors by 2022.  The oldest 8, which were closed in March for security reviews, will remain permanently terminated.

This plan is very similar to one previously passed by Merkel’s predecessor Gerhard Schröder, though Merkel had his plan extended to keep nuclear power online longer.

The change of heart came after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

The Christian Democratic Union and Free Democrats voted with the Social Democrats and Greens to decide on the nuclear phase-out.

The Social Democrats and Greens had been pushing for a nuclear termination for a while.

They had undergone criticism for this effort, but now are offered relief as the rest of the government turned to finally support this.

Guenther Oettinger, the European Energy Commissioner, has estimated that Germany’s shutdown of the first 8 plants has already reduced European power by about 2-3%, according to Reuters.

He told Reuters that this isn’t terribly detrimental, but he believes that it would be highly beneficial for Germany to work alongside other European nations in maintaining the continent’s power supply during the phase-out.

Angela Merkel is happy about the results of the vote, and she believes this will offer a lot of room for renewable growth in Germany.

It will of course require an increase in other power sources as well, but it will certainly push for more consideration of renewable energy.

That’s all for now,


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