Skip to content

Patrick Moore is a founding member of Greenpeace and served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International.

Hello Michael,

Today I have a question for Greenpeace. Here it is:

Greenpeace is telling the world that Germany will replace its 17 nuclear energy plants with renewables such as wind and solar.

“Today is a historic day in Germany and for green energy worldwide. The German Parliament has made a precedent setting move – not only have they set a plan to phase out all nuclear by 2022, but the Parliament has committed to renewable energy like wind and solar as the replacement. The decision will help Germany with its objective to reduce carbon pollution 40% by 2020, which will include a significant shift away from coal fuelled power plants.”

Phil Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, June 30, 2011

The truth is Germany is already nearing completion of 13 Gigawatts (the equivalent of about 13 nuclear plants) of fossil fuel plants, mainly coal-fired, and is planning to build an additional 10 Gigawatts of fossil fuel plants (equivalent to another 10 nuclear plants) to make up for the lost nuclear energy. So the renewable energy is basically just window dressing to cover the fact that Germany is planning to replace clean, non-carbon emitting nuclear energy with polluting, intensive carbon emitting coal plants.

“Some 10 GW of thermal power generating capacity needs to be built in Germany by 2020 in addition to capacity already under construction to ensure a healthy reserve margin, the German government indicated in its decision Monday to close all the country’s nuclear power stations by 2022.

Around 13 GW of thermal plant (mainly hard coal but some lignite and gas) are in various stages of construction in Germany, according to Platts data. Four out of nine German coal power stations and a lignite unit currently in construction are unlikely to be commissioned as originally scheduled in 2011 and 2012, however, due to problems with boiler construction.

Vattenfall’s two 840-MW units at Hamburg-Moorburg and its Boxberg 675 MW lignite-fired unit, GdF Suez’ 830-MW unit in Wilhelmshaven, RWE’s two 800-MW units at Hamm and Evonik Steag/EVN’s 790 MW unit at Walsum are all affected.”

Henry Edwardes-Evans, “Germany ‘Needs 10 GW of New Plant’ Following Nuclear Phase-Out”, Platts, May 31, 2011

Why is Greenpeace helping Germany with the deception that Germany will “shift away from coal fueled power plants” and claiming that this will help Germany to achieve a 40% reduction in “carbon pollution” by 2020 when it is obvious that there will be a large increase in carbon emissions as a result of the closing of nuclear plants and the opening of an equivalent number of coal and gas plants? Could it be because Germany is Greenpeace’s biggest source of funding and that Greenpeace wishes the public to think this is a great victory for the environmental movement?

Patrick Moore

Achse des Guten, 30 September 2011