Nuclear Retreat Leaves Wind ‘Powered’ Germany’s Power Grid on the Brink of Collapse

Act in haste, repent at your leisure. Germany’s rush to wind and solar, while shutting down what was one of Europe’s largest and most reliable nuclear power generation fleets will go down as one of the greatest economic and environmental disasters of all time.

Spooked by an incident at a nuclear reactor at Fukushima, resulting from a monumental tsunami, Germany immediately scotched plans for new reactors and legislated to phase-out its entire nuclear generation system by 2022. Never mind that not one single death was caused by nuclear radiation at Fukushima.

Now Germany is scrambling to reinstate ageing coal-fired power plant, as well as building all new coal-fired capacity, just to keep the lights on.

Spiegel Interviews Hansen: “Exit From Nuclear Power Huge Mistake For The World”
Pierre Gosselin
25 November 2017

Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski here interviewed James Hansen, the former director of NASA GISS and one of the most prominent campaigners against CO2 induced global warming.

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan earlier this decade, Germany, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, moved at lightning speed to shut down 8 of its 17 nuclear power plants nationwide. The remaining will be taken offline within a few years. Nuclear power has had a long tradition of being villified by Germany’s vociferous environmental movement and media.

But there’s one environmental activist who thinks the move was totally wrong: James Hansen.

Today German environmentalists are taking aim at the country’s coal power. But taking Germany’s coal-fired power plants offline would put the country in a serious energy dilemma as most of the steady base line power generation would disappear and the country’s power supply would be put at the mercy of wildly fluctuating green energies.

When asked by Spiegel whether Germany’s exit from nuclear power was a mistake, Hansen replies:

“It is a huge mistake for the world. Most of the countries cannot afford to go without nuclear power.”

According to Hansen, highly developed and prosperous Germany likely will be able to get by without it, but “it is not credible to think that China and India will be able wean off fossil fuels rapidly enough without nuclear energy”.

More renewable energy “a joke”

Hansen in the interview plays down the risks posed by nuclear energy, believing that they can be reduced and that “nuclear energy would be the most environmentally friendly of all energy candidates that we know of.”

When asked by Spiegel if it would not be better to invest the money in renewable energies, Hansen scoffs at the question:

“More renewable energy? You’re joking. The subsidies set aside for renewable energies are forcing consumers to pay higher rates – a sort of invisible tax. The power bill keeps rising, but the customer does not know why.”

Hansen also believes that the strict opposition to CO2-free nuclear energy by environmental groups is mainly driven their quest for donations. In the interview the former GISS head appears frustrated and concerned by the appointments of anti-nuclear activists to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission – by recent Democratic presidents – and is afraid our children will be disappointed over “how foolish we were and the mess we created.”

James Hansen makes an arresting argument for nuclear.


Meanwhile, there’s the small matter of keeping Germany’s lights on this Winter.

Country’s Power Grid Now More Unstable Than Ever
Pierre Gosselin
29 November 2017

German Public Media Finally Acknowledge Country’s Power Grid Now More Unstable Than Ever

It seems that the woes besetting the German Energiewende (transition the green energies) and the country’s power grids are finally beginning to hit home at the mainstream German media.

For example German HR public radio here writes “increasingly large problems have besieged power grid operator Tennet” and that the company often “has to act at lightning speed to prevent blackouts”. That illustrates just how unstable Germany’s power grid has gotten since the Energiewende started in earnest some 15 years ago.

HR public radio’s Jens Wellhöner describes a grid control center in northern Germany, where workers at the complex control center work tensely to keep the grid from crashing as highly unstable wind and solar energy surge and drop off precipitously with every whim of the weather.

During windy and stormy conditions, the Tennet operated power grid often cannot accept wind energy, and thus control center workers have to force the wind parks to shut down to avert overloading the grid. And conventional gas and coal plant must always be on standby and ready to spring into action at a minute’s notice should wind and sun drop off, as is often the case on cloudy and windless days.

“More than 1000 interventions a year”

Whenever the grid threatens to fly out of control, Tennet grid operators need to move fast and intervene. Years ago before the wind and solar energy were fed in to the grid in significant volumes, operators intervened to avert a black out maybe “up to five times per year”.  But today “we are up to 1000 – 1500 interventions per year,” says Volker Weinreich, Director of the Hanover grid control center.

The HR reports further: “The Energiewende means more and more work for the men and women at the control center in Hanover.” And they “must always be alert.” According to Weinreich, the grid “no longer functions without the daily interventions by these employees”.

And according to HR, the situation will stay that way for many years, which is how long it is expected to take to revamp the grid enough to handle the instability. In the meantime, control center workers will have to work over-time to prevent the Tennet-operated power grid from blacking out.

Q: what did Germans use before candles? A: nuclear power.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Hansen just needs to go a step further, you know, do a James Lovelock and admit he got the whole CO2 climate change hypothesis completely wrong, put it all behind us, move on and promise never to mention it again.

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