German nuclear closures will mean 'uneven' policy: Sweden

30th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Sweden's environment minister on Monday criticised Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power completely by 2022, saying it would lead to a disjointed energy policy.

"Germany now risks landing in a position with a very uneven energy policy," Andreas Carlgren told Swedish news agency TT.

"The decisive question now for Germany is that one most probably will need to increase the import of nuclear energy from France and that there is a risk they will not manage as quickly to halt the dependency on fossil fuels, especially coal-based energy," he said.

By focussing on setting a deadline for ending nuclear power, Germany risks "missing the most important issue: that we need to manage the double challenge of both reducing our dependency on nuclear and reducing climate change," Carlgren said.

Sweden has 10 nuclear reactors at three plants, and the country's parliament passed a landmark bill last June allowing the reactors to be replaced at the end of their life spans instead of simply ending nuclear power when they expire.

Since the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, which prompted the German decision, Sweden's centre-right government has said it will not backtrack on that decision.

Asked what Sweden's energy landscape would look like in 20 years, Carlgren said Monday "it's quite possible we will have shut some of our nuclear plants, but that remains to be seen.

"The most important thing is how quickly we expand renewable energy," he said, adding that he expected renewable energy to make up more than two-thirds of Swedish power production two decades from now.

© 2011 AFP

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