RAG coal Foundation head Werner Mueller urged for the phase-out of nuclear power plants in Germany to mirror the gradual shut down of coal mines in the country, Reuters reported.
The task of shuttering nuclear power plants in Germany is huge. Until March 2011, Germany generated about 25 percent of its energy from nuclear power, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Germany plans to shut down all power plants in the country by 2022, according to a March 2011 shutdown and May 2011 closure plan. The deadline was prompted by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Reuters reported.
To fill in the energy gaps, Germany plans to invest in and subsidize renewable energy sources. By 2020, Germany expects renewable power to represent 20 percent of its energy mix. As of December 2014, the World Nuclear Association reported clean energy only made up 11 percent, with the majority generated by wind power.
Recently, Vattenfall Europe Nuclear Energy and E.ON Technologies signed an agreement to decommission and deconstruct joint nuclear power plants. Both Vattenfall and E.ON plan to adhere to the 2020 nuclear shutdown deadline.
However, after the companies spearheading the closures raised $42 billion to go toward decommissioning the reactors and getting rid of nuclear waste, there are concerns they will not be able to have enough funds to achieve this plan by the deadline.
"Nuclear reactor operators today are no longer able to indefinitely match rising (financial) requirements for the nuclear decommissioning," Mueller will say in a speech, according to a copy received by Reuters.
With the decrease in value with some of the utilities involved in the shut downs, there are fears the liabilities of these companies will fall back on the state.