France’s Nuclear Energy is Over Three Times Faster and Cheaper than Germany’s Solar and Wind

France completed construction on 76% of its current 58 reactors at an inflation-adjusted cost of $330 billion (€290 billion). The complete buildout of the 58 reactors was less €400 billion. Germany would need 50% more nuclear energy than France to completely replace all other power generation. This would cost €600 billion if Germany could match France’s build from the 1980s. Costs and safety regulations have increased even though France’s nuclear power has operated without incident for over 30 years. 80 nuclear reactors would now cost €1600 billion euros for Germany. This would still be cheaper than the estimated costs for the solar and wind buildout that is underway.

France builts its nuclear power in less than 15 years.

Germany’s feed in tariff support of renewables started by 1991. The Germany Energiewende (German for energy transition) started in 2010.

In 2013, Germany’s economy and energy minister, Peter Altmaier, said building up the solar and wind power in Germany would cost one trillion euros by the end of the 2030s. Feed in tariffs alone would cost a total of 680 billion euros by 2022.

Estimates of the total amount of Germany’s annual investment vary from 15 to 40 billion euros. Consumers in Germany pay about 25 billion euros per year in higher energy bills.

A BDI study (by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the consultancy Prognos) says that cutting emissions by 80 percent by 2050 (the lower end of Germany’s climate targets) – would require cumulative total investment of 1.5 trillion euros. Reducing emissions by 95 percent (the high end of Germany’s 2050 climate targets) would require total investment of about 2.3 trillion euros.

A study conducted by the Energy Systems of the Future (ESYS) at the National Academy of Science and Engineering (Acatech) shows comparable results, arguing that a successful energy transition, including the decarbonisation of transport and heating, will require annual investment of between 30 and 60 billion euros over the next 3 decades.

Germany’s investment in the power sector alone would amount to 520 billion euros by 2025, with the renewables surcharge being the largest driver of costs by far.

Germany is 2% of the world carbon dioxide emissions.