Is nuclear energy a sustainable fuel or not? This is the question which rests on the European Union’s shoulders. The decision has caused a deep rift across Europe about climate-friendly energy solutions for the future with nations disagreeing about which sources should be classed as green or not. Nuclear-reliant France has been leading the charge for the inclusion of nuclear power as a green source, but Germany is critical of the move. However, despite moving away from nuclear power, the nation has been remarkably quiet on the subject.
Soaring gas prices and household energy bills have been a key topic for EU member states in recent weeks as the continent faces an energy crisis.
The EU has been discussing how to best achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
One of the most important and divisive issues is the issue of nuclear power.
On October 11, 10 EU member states led by France expressed their joint support for including nuclear power in the EU’s “taxonomy on sustainable financing,” which would essentially allow the EU to support nuclear projects under its green financing initiative.
READ MORE: Poland could unravel EU’s legal authority – what it means for Brexit
These nations said they will not support an overhaul of the electricity market ahead of an EU meeting on Tuesday.
Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia and the Netherlands said transparent and competitive markets are what guarantee better prices for users.
The nations called for the deployment of renewable energy sources and “further interconnection”.
Spain is calling for a change to how wholesale electricity prices are calculated and France is calling for decoupling electricity and gas prices.
Mr Macron argued the influence of gas in setting wholesale electricity prices is disproportionate.
The energy squeeze has prompted debate about nuclear power projects and whether these schemes could be a means of becoming more energy independent.
The block has yet to decide if nuclear energy will be included in the so-called taxonomy.
The idea of taxonomy will become a guiding principle not only for the EU but national Governments as well.
It will determine which industries are subsidised and which financial markets see investment.
Last week leaders in Germany, Italy, France and Greece called on the European Commission to submit a draft delegated odd.
French leader Emmanuel Macron, supported by many eastern leaders, argued nuclear energy is required to cut emissions and boost electricity production.
This document is expected in November according to Politico.
Brexit: Poll showed Europeans think EU ‘is punishing UK’ [INSIGHT]
‘Bitter Brexit shock!’ Brazen Germany mocks Britain [EXPLAINER]
EU tug-of-war erupts as France and Germany split bloc [ANALYSIS]
However, despite these calls – the German Government has avoided speaking out in favour of gas.
Germany wants to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but at the same time will shut down all of its nuclear power stations.
In 2000, nuclear power accounted for 29.5 percent share of the power generation mix – but in 2020 this was down to 11.4 percent.
By 2022, all nuclear plants in the country will be shut down and instead, renewable solutions are being sought out.
European Ministers met on Tuesday to discuss energy concerns.
The wave of price hikes is not set to end before next spring prompting Ministers to discuss short-term measures which have been put forward by the European Commission to help consumers and businesses weather the period.
According to EU officials, gas prices in Europe have increased by more than 170 percent since the start of the year.
Kadri Simson, the EU commissioner for energy, said: “We have received different messages from different member states.
“I do hope to hear clear messages from ministers — what are their expectations?
“If we are talking about medium-term measures, this also means that we have to start acting right now, despite the fact that the results of those actions will be foreseen in years to come, not the next two weeks.”