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Six units are boiling water reactors (BWR), 11 are pressurised water reactors (PWR). A further PWR had not operated since 1988 because of a licensing dispute.This picture changed in 2011, with the operating fleet being reduced to nine reactors with 12,003 MWe capacity, and then to eight reactors with 10,728 MWe.
But Germany’s biggest error is one commonly committed by countries that are trying to move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.In 2014 wind and solar PV had capacity factors of 17% and 11% respectively, compared with 92% for nuclear (IEA figures).In 2011 Russia provided almost 40% of the gas, followed by Norway, Netherlands and the UK, while 14% was produced domestically.Germany is one of the biggest importers of gas, coal and oil worldwide, and has few domestic resources apart from lignite and renewables (but see later section). The preponderance of coal makes the country Europe’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide.The 2016 increase in renewables generation was the smallest since 2009.