From environmental progress, German emissions increases in 2016 due to nuclear plant closure. Data points:
- German emissions increased in 2016 for a second year in a row
- why? because Germany closed one of its nuclear plants; replaced energy from that one nuclear plan with coal and natural gas
- German emissions would have declined had it not closed a nuclear plant and replaced that energy with coal and natural gas
- not only did NEW solar and wind NOT make up for the lost nuclear energy, the percentage of time during 2016 that solar- and wind-produced electricity declined dramatically
- Germany added a whopping 10 percent more wind turbine capacity and 2.5 percent more colar panel CAPACITY between 2015 and 2016, but generated LESS than 1 percent more electricity from wind and generated one percent LESS from solar
- why? because Germany had significantly less sunshine and wind in 2016 than in 2015
As such, 2016 is a dramatic illustration of the limits of energy sources that depend on the weather. Their output varies dramatically not just hour-to-hour but also year-to-year.
Anti-nuclear advocates have long insisted that this radical intermittency can be solved through more transmission and storage. But there's a problem: neither more transmission lines nor more storage would have made Germany any sunnier, or windier, in 2016.