Germany's Nuclear Phase Out - A Survey of the Impact since 2011 and Outlook to 2023

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Friedrich Kunz, Hannes Weigt

In: Economics of Energy and Environmental Policy 3 (2014), 2, S. 13-27


In this paper we analyze the effects of the German nuclear phase out, focusing on the seven nuclear power plants affected by the March 2011 moratorium, and continuing through the final phase out of the last plant in 2022. We provide an ex-post assessment of model analyses on the impact of the nuclear moratorium presented by the modelling community, in 2011 or shortly after. These are then compared with the real-world developments over 2011-2013. Amongst others, modelers were right to forecast a modest effect on electricity prices, a reduction of the net export surplus, and a slight increase of fossil and renewable electricity generation. Overall, the impacts were modest, and the phase out has proceeded gently, without any major disturbance. We also provide recent modelling results on the final phase out of all German nuclear power plants by 2023. Given the expected conventional expansions and a continuous rise in renewable electricity generation, we expect the nuclear phase out to proceed smoothly, and no capacity shortages to occur.

Keywords: Electricity, Nuclear energy, Phase out, Germany