‘Green energy’ burns more coal

Germany phases out nuclear reactors but is forced to turn to coal burning plants in an attempt to turn toward a sustainable future

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Angela Merkel’s plan to phase out Germany’s nuclear power stations involves a new power plant powered by coal, according to Bloomberg. The new plant is supposed to be part of the government’s shift towards cleaner energy and will supply 3.4 million homes.

Merkel announced the plan to shut down the country’s nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year. Since the announcement coal consumption has risen 4.9 percent. Bloomberg has reported that Germany’s main energy providers have been opting towards coal over cleaner-burning natural gas, because of higher costs associated with the gas. Because the cost of carbon credits has plummeted over the summer, there is little or no additional cost for burning coal.

Germany’s cleaner energy plan relies heavily on wind and solar power, but these plants cannot generate energy 24 hours a day. Germany is just one of the countries returning to fossil fuels worldwide, because of their low cost. Coal consumption worldwide has shot up b y 5.4 percent, to account for 30 percent of the energy consumed globally last year. These are the highest results since 1969, according to BP data.