In a press conference on 30th May 2011, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced that Germany would abandon nuclear energy by 2022. The country has been in turmoil over nuclear power since the Fukushiima disaster in Japan showed the potential for future problems with nuclear sources of energy.
The German leader said:
“Germany is one of the most powerful and economically successful countries in the world. The prerequisite for this is that we have a competitive energy supply. Our citizens are confident that sufficient power is available at any time, our energy supply will be environmentally compatible and climate friendly. We want to produce and consume our electricity independently. That is, not be dependent on electricity imports.
“The basic social decision for the future – to 2050 – to meet our energy needs with renewable energy has been gaining traction for some time. We drew up a blueprint charting this course in the fall of 2010. However, after the accident in Fukushima, the role of nuclear energy made many reconsider and wish to proceed more quickly.
“We want the power of the future to be safe, reliable and at the same time, of course, economical. For this future, we need a new architecture for our energy system. We have to prepare ourselves. The Federal Government has appointed an ethics committee, and the results of the work ethics committee is a set of references for what we have decided on the government side. We will gradually move to abandon nuclear energy by the end of 2022.
“This way is a big challenge for Germany, but it means above all, huge opportunities for future generations. We believe we lead the way for the creation of an age of renewable energies. We can be the first major industrialized nation to adopt such a shift to high-efficiency and renewable energies. We can create opportunities for exports, for development, for technology and jobs.
“…This is new about the decisions taken now, on the principles of supply, affordability, and environmental and climate friendliness…. we want a 40 percent reduction in our CO 2 emissions by 2020 and to double the proportion of renewable energy sources of electricity supply from the present 17 percent to 35 per cent.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal Minister Philipp Rösler, Federal Minister Norbert Roettgen, Federal Minister Peter Ramsauer were all present to announce the new energy policy. Minister Rösler called it a “historic” day for Germany.