Restarting the coal plants

Germany’s infamous Energiewende program is supposed to transition Europe’s largest economy to cleaner, more renewable sources of energy. They are currently preparing to restart some of the previously shut down coal-fired power plants, so they can have enough power in the coming winter.

But they still have all of their nuclear plants shut down.

So far this year, about 42% of Germany’s electricity comes from fossil fuels. Next door in France, it is about 7% fossil fuels. It looks like that 42% share may go up this coming winter.

  • Pete

Here we go again with ridiculous beating up on Germany without context.
The Energiewende program was developed many years ago which did not foresee:

  • Ukraine war demand on energy
  • Major reduction of fossil fuels from Russia

Yes, BUT, the Energiewende program was functionally motivated by irrational levels of fear about existing, safely functioning nuclear reactors. The Greens took advantage of the horrific Chernobyl disaster to leverage their way into power, and although I agree with the Greens’ main goals, the anti-nuc element and other fringe outdated notions still largely controls their platform.

david fb


The German leaders knew there was a distinct possibility of Russia invading Ukraine going back several years. Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. The two sides have been fighting in various ways, and at various levels, ever since. In the later half of 2021, Russia built up its armies, getting ready to invade Ukraine on a large scale. But Germany shut down the Brokdorf, Grohnde and Gundremmingen C nuclear power plants anyway on 31 December 2021.

Germany also shut down the Emsland, Isar and Neckarwestheim nuclear plants in April 2023, over a year after the start of the larger war!

The German leaders knew there could be natural gas flow disruptions in the event of a war, but they decided to shut down those 6 nuclear power plants anyway. Now, they are scrambling, and planning to burn more coal in order to keep the lights on.

  • Pete

There is no small irony that during the Cold War the Green Party was funded by the Stasi, and even had Stasi agents among its leadership. The Green’s anti-nuclear stance was promoted by Stasi as an attempt to sow discontent about nuclear arms. The Greens also had an anti-NATO stance. This is not tin-foil hat stuff, this is well documented and is widely known in Germany. However, the Greens anti-nuclear platform has remained even after the end of the Cold War.

Although we’ll probably never know for sure, it is likely that Putin was involved in this when he was stationed in Dresden. We know that he was almost certainly working with other anti-Western organizations (Red Army, etc) in an attempt to destabilize western democracies. It is not a stretch to suppose he was working with the Greens to promote an anti-nuclear/anti-NATO agenda. Again, we don’t know for sure, but it was something that was in his portfolio and I don’t think it can be ruled out.

I think it is safe to say that Putin’s calculation to invade the rest of Ukraine was influenced by the Greens successfully lobbying to shut down nuclear power in Germany, thereby making Germany and western Europe even more dependent on Russian natural gas, which in Putin’s mind would make the West less likely to strongly respond.

He miscalculated the West’s response (at least partly) but it highlights something about non-carbon energy that doesn’t get talked about enough: National security. Oil and gas have been mixed up in nearly every conflict we’ve had since WWI, and even played a big role in WWI. We need to get our economies off of oil and gas as fast as we reasonably can. I’m glad we’re at least starting to make some tiny headway.


Spies? Remember this early 2022 “news” that has since disappeared from the public attention span?

Germany is a willing partner.



The German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall has made a few bucks selling equipment to Russia. Including after the war started.

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Gerhard Schröder is Putin’s baby and made Germany believe that Russian fossil fuels would last forever. Germany does not want anything to do with Gerhard Schröder anymore.

The Former Chancellor Who Became Putin’s Man in Germany

Gerhard Schröder, who is paid almost $1 million a year by Russian-controlled energy companies, has become a pariah. But he is also a symbol of Germany’s Russia policy.

HANOVER, Germany — On the evening of Dec. 9, 2005, 17 days after Gerhard Schröder left office as chancellor of Germany, he got a call on his cellphone. It was his friend President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Mr. Putin was pressing Mr. Schröder to accept an offer to lead the shareholder committee of Nord Stream, the Russian-controlled company in charge of building the first undersea gas pipeline directly connecting Russia and Germany.

“Are you afraid to work for us?” Mr. Putin had joked. Mr. Schröder might well have been, given the appearance of possible impropriety — the pipeline he was now being asked to head had been agreed to in the final weeks of his chancellorship, with his strong support.

He took the job anyway.

Seventeen years later, the former chancellor, who recounted the events himself in a pair of rare interviews, remains as defiant as ever.

His close ties to Mr. Putin have made him a pariah in his own country, where many now criticize him for using his clout and connections over the past two decades to enrich himself at the expense of Germany.

Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine began, the entire staff of Mr. Schröder’s parliamentary office resigned in protest, including his chief of staff and speechwriter of 20 years, who had been with him since his days as chancellor.

But Mr. Schröder is undaunted. He remains chairman of the shareholder committee of Nord Stream, reportedly earning about $270,000 a year, and served as head of the supervisory board of Nord Stream 2, which built a second pipeline connecting Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, until it was shuttered before the war.

Since 2017, he has also presided over the board of the Russian oil company Rosneft, earning another $600,000 a year, according to public records, on top of his monthly $9,000 government stipend as former chancellor.

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Your argument makes no sense. You have no clue on the thinking of the German government in 2014. Even the US, the EU and NATO did not foresee Russia launching a full scale invasion in 2022. Germany was not the only country scrambling for new sources of energy. All of EU countries were affected. All energy prices soared. Three nuclear plants shutdown in Germany do not make much of a dent on electricity production. Using some coal fired plants for backup in the winter is no big deal. Many of the EU countries are using more coal do to the current shortage of natural gas.

In a word, “Politics.”

The Captain

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A most interesting observation.It explains a lot about world wide politics.

Thank you.

The Captain


Huh? Russia’s large scale invasion started in February of 2022.

If you mean 2021, the world certainly knew that a major conflict in Ukraine was a real possibility several months before 2022. Below is just one news story from April 2021, but there are many more found with a Google search.

Tens of thousands of Russian troops massing near the Ukrainian border, convoys of tanks, and a deadly escalation in the grinding trench war in eastern Ukraine.

These storm clouds on Europe’s eastern flank are causing grave alarm in Washington and across the continent.

“We’re now seeing the largest concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine’s borders since 2014,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday after flying to NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. “That is a deep concern not only to Ukraine, but to the United States.”

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Germany could have reduced some of their current problems, if they had kept six or more nuclear plants in operation. If they were smart, they should have kept all of their nuclear plants running and instead shut down the coal and lignite burners, while they built their solar and wind farms. But no. It was more important to shut down the nukes and keep burning dirty coal. Now, they are planning to increase their coal combustion because the capacity factor of solar is horrible in the German winter.

  • Pete
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Several months before invasion is not enough time to save the nuclear power plants from closure. There were German laws in place that required the shutdown of reactors. They did extend the closure of 3 nuclear power plants. The last three nuclear power plants in Germany were shut down on 15 April 2023

As of 2016, countries including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Serbia have no nuclear power stations and remain opposed to nuclear power. (Nuclear power phase-out - Wikipedia) (Nuclear power phase-out - Wikipedia) Spain and Switzerland plan nuclear phase-outs by 2030.