BERLIN, June 6 (Reuters) - Germany’s cabinet on Monday agreed to an accelerated pull-out from nuclear energy which had been on the cards since public opinion swung against nuclear in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, government sources said.
The far-reaching energy strategy change, which reverses longer life cycles granted to nuclear power stations only last autumn, also entails changes to power gird expansion plans and the subsidy system for renewable energy such as solar and wind.
The ruling Christian Democrats and their coalition partner the Free Democrats are to discuss details separately, such as the schedule of the nuclear power station phase-out and whether some capacity will remain on stand-by to safeguard supply.
Chancellor Angely Merkel on Friday agreed with state premiers on a phased exodus of nuclear which supplied 23 percent of German power last year and to hold on to plans to more than double the share of renewables to 35 percent by 2020. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Factbox on plant closure plan [ID:nLDE74U0OD] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
This came after a decision on May 30 to phase out nuclear by 2022 and leave eight suspended plants shut for good. [ID:nLDE74T0GY]
Both chambers of parliament have to agree a change of course on energy strategy by the parliamentary summer break in July.
Wholesale power markets were drifting lower early on Monday. The benchmark Cal ‘12 position in Germany was at 59.15 euros a megawatt hour, down 60 cents from Friday. Traders said the news had been prices in when the contract hit 60 euros in early April.
Deutsche Bank said on Friday the plan is likely to lift power more long-term, by 5-6 euros from 2012-2014 [ID:nLDE7521B8]
Reporting by Andreas Rinke, Chris Steitz, Vera Eckert; editing by Jason Neely