Thursday, January 05, 2006

German energy summit to mull nuclear power after gas dispute

Dominican Today

Berlin.– Germany will review plans to close nuclear power plants at a national summit after a dispute between Russia and Ukraine cut gas shipments to Europe, Economics Minister Michael Glos said.
“Russian gas supplies were reliable in the past,'' the lawmaker from the Christian Social Union said in a faxed statement. “Yet we need a fundamental rethink how we can exploit energy available in Germany in the longer term.'' Chancellor Angela Merkel had already planned meetings with energy industry chiefs and a summit on energy policy in February or March.
Under pressure from the Social Democrats, Germany's coalition in November said it won't amend legislation that maps out a timetable for shutting all nuclear plants from about 2020.
The Christian Democratic Union and its CSU sister party won a pledge from the SPD to review the law before 2009, the end of the legislative period. Nuclear plants generate about a third of Germany's electricity.
Ukraine today agreed to almost double the price it pays Russia for gas, settling a dispute that cut supplies to Europe and damaged Russian President Vladimir Putin's reputation as a reliable energy supplier.
Ukraine is the main corridor for Russian gas shipments to Europe, and gas companies in Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Italy and France reported delivery disruptions on Jan. 1-2. Europe gets about a quarter of its gas from Russia, the world's largest producer.


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