Germany is going forward with its plan to phase out nuclear reactors by 2022 as another nuclear power plant went offline last night.
Power company EnBW has said that it would take the Philippsburg 2 reactor off the grid at 7 p.m. local time on New Year’s Eve.
This leaves Germany with six nuclear power plants that will have to close by 2022.
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, Germany ordered the immediate shutdown of eight of its 17 reactors, and plans to phase out nuclear power plants entirely by 2022.
The Philippsburg 2 reactor near the city of Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany has provided energy for 35 years. The Philippsburg 1 reactor—opened in 1979—was taken offline in 2011.
Over the past few years, nuclear power generation in Germany has been declining with the shutdown of its nuclear plants, while electricity production from renewable sources has been rising.
In January 2019, Germany became the latest large European economy to lay out a plan to phase out coal-fired power generation, aimed at cutting carbon emissions—a metric in which Berlin has been lagging in recent years.
A government-appointed special commission at Europe’s largest economy announced the conclusions of its months-long review and proposed that Germany shut all its 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038.
Germany, where coal, hard coal, and lignite combined currently provide around 35 percent of power generation, has a longer timetable for phasing out coal than the UK and Italy, for example—who plan their coal exit by 2025—not only because of its vast coal industry, but also because Germany will shut down all its nuclear power plants within the next three years.
The closure of all nuclear reactors in Germany by 2022 means that Germany might need to retain half of its coal-fired power generation until 2030 to offset the nuclear phase-out, German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier said earlier this year.