Film Talk Coal, Nuclear, Renewables - A Complex Energy Story

Gundremmingen aus Nuclear Forever © Magnetfilm

Mon, 08.11.2021

19:00 GMT


Discussion related to the films The Red Line & Nuclear Forever

This discussion event accompanies the screenings of Nuclear Forever by Carsten Rau and Die rote Linie by Karin de Miguel-Wessendorf, which will be available for free streaming from 1 - 13 November 2021 on Goethe on Demand. Just click on the button at the bottom of the page.

While Germany has decided to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, the UK has included it in its planning for its future energy provision and sees it as an important instrument for meeting carbon-zero targets. The exit from coal in Germany is currently scheduled to be completed by 2038. In the UK the generation of electricity from coal is to stop in 2024, but there are also plans to open new coal mines. In Ireland the use of coal is set to end by 2025. The country has no nuclear power plants, but here nuclear energy is also discussed as a means to secure energy provision in conjunction with renewable energies. In all three countries a switch to renewable energy sources is seen as essential to reducing CO2 emissions. But is the switch happening fast enough to help stop climate change? Shouldn’t renewable energy be given immediate priority over the CO2-intensive coal and potentially dangerous and expensive nuclear energy? How are the different energy forms interconnected. Why do countries opt for different pathways?
Given the complexity of these issues, would it perhaps make sense that citizens take energy provision in their own hands? Could the transition to renewable energy perhaps be accompanied by a new way of organising the way energy is produced and distributed. Could renewables make energy provision more decentralised and democratic?

To talk about these questions we hosted a discussion and were very pleased to be able to bring together a number of speakers for an informative and lively conversations: Dirk Vansintjan, President, European Federation of Citizen Energy Cooperatives (; Andy Stirling, Professor of Science & Technology Policy, University of Sussex; Timon Wehnert, Head Berlin Office and Senior Researcher, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, and John Prendergast, John Prendergast, Chair of Claremorris and Western District Energy Co-Op. The discussion was chaired by Alice Bell, Co-director of Possible.

Click here to watch a recording of the discussion until 13 November 2021.

With British Sign Language interpretation.

About the Films

Nuclear Forever
Germany 2020, directed by Carsten Rau

Germany will phase out nuclear energy by 2022. But the dismantling of the power plants takes decades. Thousands of tons of radioactive waste have to be disposed of, the question of the final storage of all nuclear waste has to be solved. In six interwoven episodes, the film shows various aspects of nuclear energy, such as the economic benefits local communities derived from a nuclear power plant in their region as well as the enormous financial and logistical effort associated with the construction and dismantling of nuclear power stations. The film leaves it to the viewer to decide whether it is worth it. 

The Red Line
Germany 2019, directed by Karin de Miguel Wessendorf

While Germany has committed itself to phasing out nuclear energy by 2022, its exit from coal is currently not planned to be completed until 2038. The Red Line follows the resistance against the Hambach mine in the Rhineland, the largest open-cast mining area for lignite coal in Western Europe. The reason for the resistance is the impending destruction of the last remnants of the Hambach Forest, a wooded, highly biodiverse area with old-growth trees. But the protest is also directed against the destruction of villages, against air pollution and the high CO2-emissions caused by the burning of lignite. The film shows the ongoing importance of civil resistance in the fight against environmental destruction and climate change.

Watch Nuclear Forever and The red line