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Germany’s anti-nuclear folly

A coal-fired power plant in the state of Brandenburg. Getty

Europe is facing a debilitating energy crisis, says The Wall Street Journal, and for some reason the Germans are choosing to “make it worse”. Last week, lawmakers blocked an effort to extend the lives of three nuclear reactors. Shutting the plants down has become an “article of faith” for Germany’s Green party, even though the architects of the original 2011 decision, the Christian Democrats, have reversed course. Have these Teutonic treehuggers not noticed that Vladimir Putin is “threatening to cripple” Germany’s economy by turning the gas off this winter? Only this week, Russia’s Gazprom shut down its direct pipeline to Germany for “maintenance”.

The Greens are hoping they can solve their energy problems by accelerating the use of renewables. But this only works “when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining”. And Germany is way behind in building the transmission cables to carry power from where the energy is produced to the factories and homes that need it. So with gas less available, renewables unreliable, and nuclear no longer palatable, “that leaves coal”. Incredibly, the same politicians who want the nuclear plants shut down “gave their blessing to a ramp-up in coal-fired power production”. What utter idiocy. “The big lesson from this year’s energy crisis is that Europe’s vulnerabilities were a choice, not an inevitability.” And Germany’s leaders have “chosen to repeat it”.