Jürgen Thumann, president of the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI) is calling for German nuclear plants to operate for longer than set out in the country’s controversial phase out agreement.

“Until now, nobody has been able to explain to me how our energy supply is supposed to function in future. Because the fact is that about 50% of the electricity production required for the base load is provided by nuclear energy. This base load cannot, in the foreseeable future, be economically replaced in Germany by regenerative energy, combined heat and power, or savings in electricity consumption. And on top of that, there is the fact that without nuclear energy, we will hardly be able to fulfil our obligations to protect the climate,” says Thumann.

Extending the life of existing nuclear plants could facilitate transition to a phase without nuclear energy, Thumann said, adding that nuclear energy and renewables complement each other as two important components of a broad energy mix.