In the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster, Germany has declared its intent to do without nuclear energy by shutting down all seventeen of its nuclear power plants by the year 2022. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hopes the transformation to more solar, wind and hydroelectric power becomes a test case for other countries. While abandoning nuclear power within ten years will be difficult, government officials feel that it will give Germany an edge in the renewable energy era, bringing efficient and renewable energies, as well as increased opportunities for exports, developing new technologies and jobs. Germany would also like to reduce its CO2 emissions by forty percent and double its share of renewable energies from approximately seventeen percent today to thirty-five percent in the future.
The determination of Germany to replace its nuclear power with renewable energy sources makes it a leader among the world’s industrialized nations. The cornerstone of Germany’s energy policy will be a safe and steady power supply that does not rely on imports, affordable prices for industry and consumers, and ensures that carbon emissions keep diminishing.