A simple fact. Germany shutting down 8 nuclear power plants in 2011 resulted in carbon emissions being higher than they otherwise would have been. This should not be a controversial point, to argue against it is to take a stand for rank stupidity and ignorance of arithmetic.
Yet, many environmentalists continue to take a stand against it. Here is what Melanie Mattauch of 350.org has to say in the Ecologist this week:
Governments around the globe are keeping a close eye on how Germany is getting on with its Energiewende – its transition away from nuclear energy and fossil fuels.
So far, results are mixed. The rise in renewable energy led from the bottom-up is staggering.
Yet emissions have failed to drop sufficiently and even rose in 2012 and 2013 due to an increase in coal electricity generation.
Critics were quick to blame the nuclear phase-out for the increase in coal. But in fact, the increased generation from renewables filled the nuclear energy gap. So what happened?
What happened? I guess a lesson in arithmetic did not.
But perhaps she hints at an answer with this, “the increased generation from renewables filled the nuclear energy gap”. Does that not tell her why Germany’s emissions have not fallen sufficiently?
Could it be that keeping the 8 nuclear power plants running and letting renewables replace coal, not low carbon nuclear, would have resulted in much greater emissions cuts?
Stating why the factual reasons the nuclear phaseout resulted in higher emissions and then denying that it is takes a certain amount of chutzpah, self delusion or sophistry. But I can never figure out which it is.