06 April 2011

You Take the Risks, We'll Take the Watts

Germany's moratorium on nuclear power has not necessarily reduced Germany's reliance on nuclear power by as much as one might think. From Der Spiegel:
Germany has been importing nuclear power from France and the Czech Republic since it switched off its seven oldest nuclear power stations last month in the wake of the Fukushima accident, power company RWE said on Monday.

A spokesman for RWE confirmed a report in Bild newspaper that Germany had become a net importer of power since March 16. Previously, Germany had been a net electricity exporter because of its rising output of power from renewable energy sources.

RWE said the country's power imports from France and Czech have been amounting up to 3,000 megawatts and up to 2,000 megawatts respectively. Three quarters of France's power supply comes from nuclear energy while the Czech Republic relies on reactors for 34 percent of its energy needs.

Hildegard Müller, head of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries also said on Monday that power imports were up. "Since March 17, there has been an increase in imports. Flows from France and the Czech Republic have doubled," she said.


  1. Seasonal Demand.
    Everybody has excess capacity in April.
    The big months are January and August.

  2. The map doesn't name Switzerland, which gets ~40% of its power from five reactors.

  3. This is misleading. Germany exported at the same time electricity to Switzerland. Imports just occured due to differences in the price not because of a real shortage in electricity. wouldnt that be worth an update to your blog post to set the facts straight, roger?

  4. -3-rantanplan

    Thanks, if you have information that contradicts the report in Der Spiegel discussed here, then please share it.

  5. -4- roger
    There is a good analysis in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (leading quality newspaper in Germany): http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/kernkraft-und-das-moratorium-deutschland-importiert-atomstrom-1.1081209
    Unfortunately, the article is in german.

    The key message is: Germany has even withough the old nuclear plants a capacity of 86,000 megawatts, while the peak demand at this time of the year is around 53,000 megawatts.

    Keep in mind that the information in Der Spiegel is from RWE, Germany's largest power company.

  6. -5-rantaplan

    Thanks for the link, though I think that the data came from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries -- Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft - BDEW.