Scholz: Germany well-placed on energy to get through winter

Sep 7, 2022, 2:30 AM | Updated: 10:47 am
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz delivers a speech during a meeting of the German Federal Parliament, ...

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz delivers a speech during a meeting of the German Federal Parliament, Bundestag, in the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

(Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is well-placed to get through this winter with enough energy thanks to efforts to shore up supplies in the face of Russian gas delivery cuts, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday, dismissing criticism from the opposition.

Center-right opposition leader Friedrich Merz charged in parliament that Scholz’s three-party coalition lacks any “strategic thinking” and assailed a decision this week to stick in principle to a long-held plan to shut down Germany’s last three nuclear power plants at the end of this year. The government, he said, “may be damaging German companies irreparably.”

An unusually combative Scholz responded that his coalition has worked since it took office in December to prepare for problems that ministers from Merz’s party in the previous government failed to anticipate.

He pointed to a decision to require filling natural gas storage facilities for the fuel used to heat homes, generate electricity and power industry.

Those facilities are now over 86% full, at a time when Russia has cut off gas supplies through the main pipeline to Germany, Nord Stream 1, as tensions mount over the war in Ukraine. Russia started reducing gas deliveries via that route in mid-June, citing alleged technical problems. German officials dismissed that excuse as a political gambit.

Scholz noted that his government has moved to build liquefied natural gas terminals, the first of which are due to open this winter, and reactivate coal-fired power plants.

Germany is “in a situation in which we can say we will probably get through this winter, despite all the tensions, with the preparations we have made,” Scholz said. “No one could have said that three, four, five months ago, or at the beginning of this year.”

“Because we started so early … we are now in a position in which we can go bravely and courageously into this winter, in which our country will withstand this,” he said.

While the nuclear shutdown is supposed to go ahead as scheduled, the government wants to keep the option of reactivating two of the three reactors in case of an energy shortage in the coming months.

Merz, who has urged a three- or four-year extension of the reactors’ lives, said the decision was a “bad compromise.” He urged Scholz to “stop this madness.”

Scholz, who suggested that Merz was overly fixated on nuclear power, defended the decision. He said, “You’re simply talking past the issue and the problems of this country.”

One power plant operator PreussenElektra, a subsidiary of energy giant E.ON, cast doubt Wednesday on how easy it would be to keep its Isar 2 reactor in reserve and switch it back on at short notice.

Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck, expressed surprise at those concerns, telling reporters in Berlin that the government plans to give operators sufficient advance notice if their reactors are needed so they can be safely fired up again and run until mid-April.

“It’s obvious that this passed the technicians at PreussenElektra by,” he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - An Amazon Prime logo appears on the side of a delivery van as it departs an Amazon Warehouse...
Associated Press

Amazon to hold holiday shopping event in October

Amazon said Monday that next month it will hold a second Prime Day-like shopping event, making it the latest major retailer to offer holiday deals earlier this year to entice cautious consumers struggling with tighter budgets. During the Oct. 11-12 event, Amazon Prime members will get early access to discounted items. The “Prime Early Access […]
23 hours ago
FILE -Visitors walk across the Yalu River Broken Bridge, right, next to the Friendship Bridge conne...
Associated Press

Seoul says North Korea, China reopen freight train traffic

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea and China resumed freight train service Monday following a five-month hiatus, South Korean officials said, as the North struggles to revive an economy battered by the pandemic, U.N. sanctions and other factors. The reopening came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month made a dubious claim […]
23 hours ago
Victoria Colson, 31, of Tampa loads sandbags into her truck along with other Tampa residents who wa...
Associated Press

Cuba prepares evacuations as strengthening TS Ian nears

HAVANA (AP) — Authorities in Cuba suspended classes in Pinar del Rio province and said they will begin evacuations Monday as Tropical Storm Ian was forecast to strengthen into a hurricane before reaching the western part of the island on its way to Florida. A hurricane warning was in effect for Grand Cayman and the […]
23 hours ago
The United Nations Security Council meets on the situation in Ukraine, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 at ...
Associated Press

Politics impede long-advocated growth of UN Security Council

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Virtually everyone involved agrees: Almost eight decades after it came into existence, the powerful U.N. Security Council needs to expand, to evolve, to include more voices. But as with so many things, the central question — and the biggest disagreement — is exactly how. Five countries that were major powers at […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Stewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers speaks during...
Associated Press

From Yale to jail: Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes’ path

PHOENIX (AP) — Long before he assembled one of the largest far-right anti-government militia groups in U.S. history, before his Oath Keepers stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Stewart Rhodes was a promising Yale Law School graduate. He secured a clerkship on the Arizona Supreme Court, in part thanks to his unusual life […]
23 hours ago
Amanda Rouser poses for a photo in front of a recruiting desk for new poll workers at Atlanta City ...
Associated Press

False claims, threats fuel poll worker sign-ups for midterms

ATLANTA (AP) — Outraged by false allegations of fraud against a Georgia elections employee in 2020, Amanda Rouser made a vow as she listened to the woman testify before Congress in June about the racist threats and harassment she faced. “I said that day to myself, ‘I’m going to go work in the polls, and […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Scholz: Germany well-placed on energy to get through winter