Reforming and consolidating government act of 2016

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.

Other elements included: a government commitment not to introduce any "one-sided" economic or taxation measures, a recognition by the government of the high safety standards of German nuclear plants and a guarantee not to erode those standards, the resumption of spent fuel transports for reprocessing in France and UK for five years or until contracts expire, and maintenance of two waste repository projects (at Konrad and Gorleben).

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.In June 2000 a compromise was announced which saved face for the government and secured the uninterrupted operation of the nuclear plants for many years ahead.The agreement, while limiting plant lifetime to some degree, averted the risk of any federally-enforced plant closures during the term of that government.The companies' undertaking to limit the operational lives of the reactors to an average of 32 years meant that two of the least economic ones – Stade and Obrigheim – were shut down in 20 respectively, and the one non-operational reactor (Mülheim-Kärlich, 1219 MWe) commenced decommissioning in 2003.Brunsbüttel was shut down in 2007, as was Krümmel, apart from a few weeks operation in 2009.