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HomeTechElon Musk Slams Germany's Nuclear Shutdown Amid Energy Crisis

Elon Musk Slams Germany’s Nuclear Shutdown Amid Energy Crisis

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla, has criticized Germany’s decision to shut down its last three nuclear reactors, calling it a “monumental mistake” that could negatively impact the country’s energy independence. Musk believes that a sustainable energy economy is possible and has focused on addressing global warming as one of the world’s most pressing issues.

On April 15, Germany disconnected the Isar 2, Neckarwestheim, and Emsland nuclear power plants from its electricity grid, marking the end of the country’s nuclear era. However, this decision has drawn ire from Musk, who has a Tesla factory near Berlin. He tweeted, “The timing of this couldn’t be worse,” in response to a past interview being shared by a Twitter user.

In the referenced interview from a year ago with Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, Musk was even more vocal in his disagreement. He urged Germany not only to keep the remaining nuclear power plants running but also to reopen the ones that had been closed. He claimed that shutting down the plants was a “national security risk.”

Germany, the European Union’s largest CO2 emitter, remains heavily dependent on coal. In 2022, the last three nuclear reactors supplied 6% of the country’s energy, while coal accounted for 33%. Coal usage increased by 8% last year due to the gas crisis.

The shutdown of the three power plants was initially scheduled for December 31, 2022, but was postponed due to the energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine and the shortage of Russian gas. For the past ten years, Germany has relied on cheap Russian gas to support the transition to renewable energies. However, when Russian President Vladimir Putin reduced gas deliveries to Europe, Germany found itself in a precarious position.

Germany now faces the challenge of transitioning away from fossil fuels, aiming to cover 80% of its electricity needs with renewables by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. With the recent shutdown of nuclear power plants, entrepreneurs and investors are left questioning whether these goals remain achievable.