Germany’s de facto embassy in Taiwan rebuts Han’s nuclear energy claim

Han questioned Tsai’s energy policies, claimed Germany reconsidering moving away from nuclear power

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Nuclear power plant in Philippsburg, Germany. 

Nuclear power plant in Philippsburg, Germany.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In an apparent rebuttal of a remark made by presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) during a televised debate on Sunday (Dec. 29), Germany’s de facto embassy in Taiwan said the European country’s objective to go nuclear-free in 2022 remains unchanged.

Han, Kaohsiung mayor and presidential nominee of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, in Sunday's debate lashed out against President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is seeking a second term, over her administration’s agenda to scrap nuclear power.

Han accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of disregarding referendum results that favor nuclear energy, which he claimed has been recognized by the European Union as a source of green energy. Even Germany, the country that consumes the most energy in Europe, is revisiting its policy of aborting nuclear power, he argued.

Germany embarked on the ambition to shut down all 17 of its nuclear power plants by 2022 in the wake of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. Until March 2011, Germany generated one-quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy.

The German Institute in Taipei issued a Facebook statement on Monday (Dec. 30) apparently refuting Han’s argument. It said the European country remains unwavering in its plan to phase out nuclear energy by 2022 while staying on track to increase the proportion of energy it gets from renewables.

Renewable energy accounted for 46 percent of Germany's total electricity production in 2019, while 40 percent came from fossil fuels and 14 percent from nuclear power. The move to scrap nuclear power was primarily made out of safety concerns, and the decision is backed by the general public across the political spectrum, the institute added.