The German government’s plan to extend operating lifetimes of nuclear power plants has turned out to be more difficult than envisaged.
Far from being a bridging technology until it can reliably replaced by renewable energies, as the government stated in its coalition contract after national elections in September 2009, allowing nuclear reactors to run for longer is likely to collide head-on with expansion of wind energy and other renewables.
The plan is also likely to strengthen the oligopoly of four major energy generators and undermine the economic foundation for many power station investments, including wind energy, launched by small energy companies.
The whole electricity sector is now on tenterhooks as to what arrangements the government will eventually come up with for nuclear.
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