Germany’s government has no choice but to extend the life of its remaining plants, according to a new report from Datamonitor.

The independent business analyst believes that the only way Germany can achieve its ambitious climate change and renewable energy targets is to keep the plants online past their 2021 retirement date.

Analyst Frederik Dahlmann said: “We have analysed energy demand forecasts for the Germany, which suggest that Germany will need its nuclear plants to stay online for at least some time as not only has it set itself challenging targets, it also needs to meet a growing demand for energy.

“However, the fuel taxes and voluntary payments paid by the plants in exchange for the longer running times may help to sweeten the blow for those with concerns as they will help to pay for the development of renewable energies, energy storage technology, energy efficiency and combined heat and power.”

In 2001, Germany’s coalition government played on the strong feelings about nuclear power when it announced it would retire the remaining 17 nuclear plants by 2021. However a new agreement reached in September 2010 would give on average a further eight years to the seven plants built before 1980 and an extra 14 years for the newer ones.

The report is entitled ‘A Lifeline for Germany’s Nuclear Power Plants’.

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