Thursday, 7 June 2012

Germany's plans to end use of nuclear power get a boost
29 May 2012

Germany's grid operators have announced plans for a major expansion of the network. The move is seen as key part of the country's goal of ending the use of nuclear power in 10 years' time. The German government's plans to do away with the use of nuclear power got a boost on Tuesday when the country's power grid operators announced plans to make major investments to expand the grid.

The head of grid operator Tennet, Martin Fuchs, told a press conference in Bonn that Germany's transition away from nuclear power would cost about 20 billion euros ($25 billion) over the next decade. He said those funds would go towards modernising the existing grid and constructing around 3,800 km (2,360 miles) of new, mainly high-voltage power lines.

Fuchs warned though, that the job won't be easy, but "we believe Germany can achieve it". Three other high-voltage grid operators, Amprion, 50Hertz and TransnetBW are also involved in the project. The lack of capacity of the grid is seen as one of the major problems Germany will have to overcome if it is to successfully make the transition. "Without the expansion of the electricity network, progress on renewable energy won't produce results", the head of Germany's Federal Network Agency, Jochen Homann, told the news conference, which was also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier and Finance Minister Philipp Roesler.

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