SPD leader Lars Klingbeil is still hoping for an agreement in the traffic light coalition this week in the dispute over the running times of the German nuclear power plants that are still connected to the grid. “I expect it to be cleared this week,” said Klingbeil on Friday night on the ZDF program “Markus Lanz”. “I want clarity this week,” emphasized Klingbeil. That must be decided in the Bundestag next week. The dispute should no longer concern the Republic.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) must clarify whether there is a power shortage, what the effects are on the electricity price and which forms of energy Germany will rely on in the future. Klingbeil said it had become known that the three spoke to the operators again on Thursday.
FDP is pushing for nuclear power plants to continue operating until 2024
In the traffic light coalition, the Greens and FDP are arguing about the continued operation of nuclear power plants. Habeck wants to keep the two nuclear power plants Isar 2 in Bavaria and Neckarwestheim II in Baden-Württemberg ready for use until spring in the event of bottlenecks in the power supply – i.e. beyond the actual shutdown date at the end of this year. The FDP, on the other hand, is pushing for all three remaining nuclear power plants to continue operating until 2024. The Emsland nuclear power plant in Lower Saxony is also currently still connected to the grid.
FDP faction leader Christian Dürr said in the same ZDF program that in an emergency situation you have to go “all in” and use all possible options. He is concerned that too many options will be taken off the table, even though all options are needed. It is not about a renaissance of nuclear energy, but about keeping prices stable and preventing a blackout. Dürr was confident that Scholz, Habeck and Lindner would come to an agreement.
The Greens meet in Bonn on Friday for the federal party conference. The party leadership has to convince the delegates of the anti-nuclear power party there to keep the two southern German nuclear power plants ready a little longer. The Greens chairman Omid Nouripour campaigned for Habeck’s plans. “We do things we didn’t want to do, but we need quick solutions to existential problems. Nevertheless, we are sticking to our goals,” said Nouripour of the “Rheinische Post” and the Bonn “General-Anzeiger” (Friday) on the phase-out of nuclear power and coal. The Greens would support it if the two nuclear power plants were brought in for grid stability in winter. At the same time he assured: “We remain anti-nuclear party.”
Nouripour emphasized that the operational reserve had been agreed in the federal government. “I think we would all do well to base ourselves on the facts and not on the election results,” said the Green party leader. Habeck is “just pulling out all the stops so that we can get by without Russian gas. It doesn’t need longer running times for that.”
The deputy FDP chairman Johannes Vogel again denied that there was an agreement. “So far there has simply been no agreement in the coalition on how many nuclear power plants should continue to be operated and for how long,” Vogel told the Rheinische Post. The “dissent that has existed for months” has always been public knowledge. Vogel emphasized: “Using all available capacities in the current energy crisis is simply a matter of common sense.”