His comments were made earlier today to Reuters during a meeting of the International Renewable Energy Association (IREA) in the United Arab Emirates.
Herr Becker said:
“A decision has been taken to shut down eight plants before the end of this year and they definitely won’t be reactivated. And the remaining nine will be shut down by the end of the decade.”
The news will stun Germany’s main energy suppliers as it will cost them hundred of millions of dollars in expected revenues. It will also have a huge impact on the rest of the European energy sector as several are international players.
The comments fly in the face of public German Government policy, which is that no decision has yet been made about the nuclear power stations’ future following the Fukushima disaster.
It also raises huge questions about the future of Germany’s energy supply. The same IREA meeting heard that Germany had become a net importer of energy from France for the first time this year, and France is considered the most nuclear friendly country in the EU.
Surely it would be daft to simply turn off your own nuclear power in order to import it from another country?
However there is another solution. Back in January, Greenpeace published a report which claimed that 90 percent of European coal and nuclear power could be phased out by 2030.
Maybe, just maybe, the German government is swinging behind it. If not, there could be news of some sackings very soon.
Europe To Stress Test Nuclear Power Stations (2011)
French Elite Leads World In Pushing Nuclear Technology (2009)
Anti nuclear protests in Germany turn violent (2008)
Chris is a seasoned sustainability journalist focusing on business, finance and clean technology. His writing's been carried by a number of highly respected publishers, including The Guardian, The Washington Post and Scientific American. You can follow him on twitter as @britesprite, where he's one of Mashable's top green tweeters and Fast Company's CSR thought leaders. Alternatively you can follow him to the shops... but that would be boring.