There is an excellent article over at Forbes today....over Germans and the anti-nuclear energy situation. In essence....whatever the cost of dumping nuke energy....will be borne by the working-class German. The energy companies....as they get deeper into new technology energy....will pass the bill for this right along to the German consumer. At the end of the day....there's to be less money in the pockets of a German.
For an American looking into the mindset of this "speed"....it relates back to the Japanese incident, where the nuclear power plants went down. Journalists in Germany quickly went into turbo mode and laid out a scenario of similar proportions happening in Germany. I would make a humble estimate that three out of five Germans quickly bought into the threat and agreed that nuke power had to be retired.
The curious thing to this mess....is that there was a growing trend in existence for new energy to come along and retire nuke energy. It might have been thirty or forty years in the future....but it would have eventually come along. This simply increased the process.
How much more will this cost Germans? That's not a clear picture to the trend.
As Forbes says....Germans pay the higher amount of most Europeans....around 31 cents per kWhr, with the French paying around 17 cents per kWhr. Almost double. With the retirement plan in hand and looking ten years into the future.....a humble guy can only predict it getting closer to 50 cents per kWhr by 2022...maybe even 55 cents.
Where does this lead Germans? If you check out the light bulb area of your local German shop....they all sell low wattage bulbs at a pretty high rate. There are constant reminders on TV to retire your fifteen-year old refrigerator or freezer and buy a newer energy-saver refrigerator/freezer. Every single device that you could possibly buy for your house.....has energy ratings on the side, and most Germans read them keenly. If you look at the habits of a German within their own house.....every light is turned off when not required. The habits flow over to business operations and industry as well.
I don't have much doubt that nuke energy will be retired now as quickly as possible in Germany. I also have little doubt that Germans will whine a bit as the cost of energy gets up around 35 cents per kWhr, and they know they just can't cut consumption anymore (the max has almost been met). Candles coming? People trying to recharge their cell-phones at train-stations? Freezers start to disappear from the German home? Maybe. A number of odd things will occur over the next decade as people realize the rising cost of going anti-nuke. It won't be pleasant.