Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

James Kenney




renewable energy, energy subsidies, sustainability, Energiewende


The German nuclear phase-out legislation of 2011 will cause substantial changes in the country's energy mix, energy generation and electricity grid demands. The phase-out exists as part of the Energiewende, or energy transition, occurring in Germany where renewable energy has been subsidized to replace the share of nuclear energy, which is decreasing annually and moving towards a complete phase-out in 2022. This paper will analyze the benefits and costs of Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power. First, it will explore the dynamic history of German energy policy and discuss how a history of anti-nuclear sentiments led to the nuclear moratorium. Then, it will present relevant data about the impact of the phase-out on various German sectors, looking at the costs of grid expansion, the rising electricity rates and the improvements needed to make the legislation possible. We will find that the benefits of implementing the nuclear phase-out exceed the monetary costs due to future economic opportunity and an increase in energy independence and sustainability.