German Energy Transition #1


German Energy Transition #1

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Neckarwestheim, Germany - March 12, 2011: A total of 60.000 participants demonstrated for shutting down nuclear reactors in Germany, forming a human chain that ran from the reactor in Neckarwestheim to the centre of Stuttgart 45km away. Picture iStock.

Angst or Arithmetic? Why Germans are so Skeptical about Nuclear Energy

May 11, 2012
Paul Hockenos

The fact that Germany, in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, redoubled its efforts to phase out nuclear energy has nothing to do with hysteria or postwar angst. On the contrary, a majority of Germans, including much of the political class, has been unconvinced of its merits since the early 1980s; the source of this anti-atom consensus lies not in emotional populism but rather in the persuasive, fact-based arguments of a powerful, grassroots social movement that has long included nuclear physicists and other bona fide experts.

Paul Hockenos is an American writer in Berlin. In his blog Going Renewable, he writes regularly on German and European energy policy.

Click here to read Angst or Arithmetic? (6 pages, pdf, 1.44MB)


This paper is part six of a six-part series on the German Energy Transition (Energiewende). The authors are experts on different issues such as renewable energies, rural communities, social movements, and nuclear power. Click the titles below to read the more of the series.

1- Angst or Arithmetic? Why Germans are so skeptical about nuclear energy
by Paul Hockenos

2- German Solar Bubble? Look again!
by Craig Morris

3- Revitalizing Rural Communitites through the Renewable Energy Cooperative
by Amanda Bilek

4- A Fresh Breeze for Seaports: How offshore wind boosts maritime economies in Germany
by Rebecca Bertram

5- Transatlantic Exchange: Why California is to blame for the "Energiewende"
by Paul Hockenos

6- German Energy Freedom: Moving beyond energy independence to energy democracy
by Craig Morris

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