• Germany: mind the (energy) gap

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    Anti-nuclear demonstrators march in Cologne today.

    Following the Japanese earthquake, thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across Germany on Saturday to demand an end to nuclear power in the country. The organizers said that more than 200,000 people turned out for the demonstrations in the nation’s four largest cities. German police said more than 100,000 protesters turned out in Berlin alone. Marches also took place in Hamburg, Cologne and Munich.

    Frau Doktor Angela Merkel said earlier this month that Germany would speed up its move to renewable energy sources, as it evaluated the safety of its nuclear power plants. She has temporarily closed seven of aging nuclear power plants pending a safety review, in light of the crisis in Japan.
    British Gazette comment: Herewith the reason why France is so keen to building up her nuclear power stations. This is the Franco-German axis in operation. Frau Dokter Merkel is a highly intelligent and very able woman. She knows full well her predicament:
    Germany is the EU’s leading economy which happily for Germans is not an unbalanced economy like the UK over reliant on the financial sector in the City of London but one with a world class manufacturing base. This is a credit to Germany. There is however a problem for the Frau Doktor. Germans are as passionately against nuclear power as the English are against the export of veal calves. Remember the huge protests against this perfectly legal and respectable export activity a few years ago?
    The fact of the matter is this: different peoples have different bees in their bonnet. With the Germans it is nuclear and “green politics” in general. British Greens such as Caroline Lucas can only dream about the support their German counterparts get. Despite the BBC’s bullshit, Britons do not (yet) pile onto the street to ban CO2.
    Now you can see die Frau Doktor’s problem: Germany with its large energy intensive manufacturing base needs electrical energy. Germans want to generate this using wind turbines and photovoltaic cells on roofs.
    Remember, die Frau Doktor, is one of the EU’s ablest politicians. She is a scientist. She knows that the German people’s wish is as realistic a wish as Colonel Gadaffi’s wish to be nominated as humanitarian of the year by President Obama.
    What then is the answer? Clearly, Germany will import her electricity. She will have nuclear power, but that nuclear power will be outside her borders. If there was an argument for the UK to stop dawdling and get on with a massive nuclear build programme this is it.

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