Consequences of Germany’s nuclear phase-out and feasibility of re-entry

_ Yuri Kofner, Economist, MIWI Institute for Market Integration and Economic Policy. Munich, 3 September 2023.

As part of the nuclear phase-out, the last three active nuclear power plants in Germany with a total capacity of 4.3 GW were taken off the grid in April 2023.[1]

As a result, Germany went from being an electricity exporter to an electricity importer: since April 2023, over 16 TWh net had to be net imported[2] – mainly nuclear power from France, which therefore decided to build 6 new NPPs.[3]

Since 2020, the share of fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) in the German electricity mix increased from 38 per cent to more than half (53 per cent) at the end of August 2023.[4]

The shutdown of the last NPPs will lead to an electricity shortfall of 4 GW by 2025.[5] The Federal Network Agency[6] and the Association of Gas Storage Operators[7] consider a gas shortage possible in the winter of 2023/24, and the Federal Network Agency has officially announced electricity rationing from 2024.[8]

The nuclear phase-out has pushed the price of electricity for households even higher, from 40 cents per kWh in 2022 to 46.3 cents per kWh in July 2023,[9] although the price of gas is back to pre-crisis levels.[10] The AfD is calling for an immediate and immediate reduction in the price of gas.

The AfD calls for an immediate and complete return to safe, cheap and future-oriented nuclear energy.

Restarting eight German nuclear power plants would be technically feasible and absolutely safe within 9 months (6 NPPs) to 2 years (2 more NPPs).[11]

This would provide 10.7 GW of secure power or 85 TWh a year at a cost of 2.5 cents per kWh.[12] Overall, this could reduce electricity prices by up to 50 per cent, protecting German industry worth €250 billion (6.5 per cent of GDP) from the exodus.

The return to nuclear power is supported by over 2/3 of the German population and would save approx. 80 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

The AfD parliamentary group in the Bavarian state parliament has submitted over 30 motions (!) in favour of nuclear power since 2018. They were all rejected by the CSU and the Free Voters.

In 2011, Söder was still threatening to resign if Germany did not completely phase out nuclear power by 2022.[13]

And the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Aiwanger, has done nothing to prevent the dismantling of the Gundremmingen C NPP, even though he has the powers to do so.[14]

The Bavarian state government still has until spring 2024 to at least prevent the dismantling of the Isar II NPP.

Furthermore, the AfD demands not only the re-commissioning of existing nuclear power plants, but also the construction of new 4th and 5th generation nuclear power plants (in Bavaria with the goal of at least 3.3 GW by 2033), as well as massive state investment in nuclear research.


[1] Deutsches Atomforum. (2023). Nennleistung der aktiven Kernkraftwerke in Deutschland im Jahr 2022 (in Megawatt). Statista. URL:

[2] Fraunhofer ISE. (2023). Import- und Exportmengen des deutschen Stromhandels im Zeitraum Januar 2021 bis August 2023 (in Terawattstunden). Statista. URL:

[3] Nikolaidis M. (2023). Frankreich baut sechs neue Kernkraftwerke. Tichys Einblick. URL:

[4] Sander L. (2023). Strommix Deutschland: Wie hoch ist der Anteil erneuerbarer Energien? NDR. URL:,strommix102.html

[5] McKinsey (2023). Versorgungssicherheit unter Spannung. Energiewende Index. URL:

[6] Müller K. (2023). Eine Gasmangellage können wir nicht ausschließen. Bundesnetzagentur. Deutschlandfunk. URL:

[7] FAZ (2023). Fachleute halten Gasmangellage bei kaltem Winter für möglich. URL:

[8] Barthelmann M., Wengert J. (2023). Energiewende: Wo Strom bald rationiert werden kann. BR. URL:,TdsCbVY

[9] BDEW (2023). BDEW-Strompreisanalyse Juli 2023. URL:

[10] Intercontinental Exchange. (2023). Dutch TTF gas futures at the beginning of each week from January 4, 2021 to August 28, 2023 (in euros per megawatt hour). Statista. URL:

[11] Nelson M.W., Ollington R. (2023). Restart of Germany’s Reactors: Can it be Done? Radiant Energy Group. URL:

[12] Blümm F. (2022). Vollkosten pro kWh: Welche ist die günstigste Energiequelle 2022? Tech for Future. URL:

[13] Welt (2011). Streit um Atomausstieg – Söder droht mit Rücktritt. URL:

[14] Bayerische Staatsregierung (2023). Antwort auf die Schriftliche Anfrage des Abgeordneten Gerd Mannes (AfD). Stand der Kernkraft, Kernfusion und Gaskraft in Bayern. Drucksache 18 / 29297. URL:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *