April 2, 2013 / 9:56 AM / 7 years ago

Germany's 2012 power exports climb despite nuclear phase-out

BERLIN, April 2 (Reuters) - Germany exported more electricity last year than it imported, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Tuesday, dispelling fears about possible power shortages due to its transition from nuclear to renewable energy.

Europe’s biggest power market imported some 43.8 terrawatt hours (TWh) of electricity and exported 66.6 TWh, resulting in a surplus of 22.8 TWh, figures based on information from the four biggest grid operators showed.

“The year 2012 saw the biggest surplus in the last four years,” said the Statistics Office, adding it was nearly four times the 2011 surplus.

Some experts had warned of possible power shortages after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2011 to accelerate Germany’s nuclear phase-out and switch to renewable energy.

In response to Japan’s Fukushima disaster, her centre-right coalition passed legislation leading to the closure of eight nuclear plants at a time when wind and solar power could not provide a reliable source of energy to plug the gap.

The main recipients of German power last year were the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland while Germany imported power from France, where nuclear plays a major role, Denmark and the Czech Republic, said the Statistics Office. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by Jason Neely)

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