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All I want for Christmas is new taxation – and….

19 Dec 2014   by   Comments (0)

Have you been naughty or nice this year? If you were the former, congratulations – you just helped the federal budget. As Craig Morris points out, our efforts to do the right thing have a hidden price tag – they reduce tax revenue. Most of all, he wonders why more people haven’t asked for the thing he wants for everyone from Santa this year.

Santa Claus

Merry Christmas!

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Local energy brings greater democracy in Poland

17 Dec 2014   by editor   Comments (0)

Poland is clearly far from being a leader on climate action – it still uses coal to generate nearly 90 per cent of its electricity. However, below the doom and gloom headlines there are glimmers of hope that reveal a burgeoning will to join the global transition towards a clean energy future. Philippa Nuttall Jones finds that a growing sector of the population is increasingly seeing community energy as a means to a more democratic future.

Polish Wind Power

In Poland, citizens and coops have started to take renewables in their own hands. (Photo by SCA, CC BY 2.0)

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Is Germany now bad for traditional utilities?

15 Dec 2014   by   Comments (1)

And then there were three… E.ON, one of Germany’s Big Four utilities, is selling its conventional power plant fleet. Is this a special case, or is E.ON setting an example for the other utilities? Craig Morris investigates.

Gas Power Plant in Irsching, part of reserve capacity in Germany (Source : Dominik Zehatschek/E.ON)

Utilities heavily invested in natural gas are suffering most – E.ON was one of them. (Source : Dominik Zehatschek/E.ON)

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Energiewende Movers: The Federal States

12 Dec 2014   by   Comments (0)

Much of the success of the German energy transition depends on the support of the country’s 16 federal states. A new study shows which German federal states are leading and which are slowing down the development of renewable energy. Komila Nabiyeva summarizes the findings.


Vast plains, lots of wind – Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has good conditions for renewables. But it also made the right political choices. (Photo by Thomas Kohler, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Electro-mobility gets going in Germany – albeit slowly

11 Dec 2014   by   Comments (0)

Germany is a bit of a laggard when it comes to electric cars, and the Energiewende has not focused on the transport sector enough. But it seems like this is about to change. Craig Morris investigates.


Carsharing companies have started to embrace electric mobility in Germany, but it has remained a niche technology so far. (Photo by Julian Herzog, CC BY 3.0)

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What neighboring countries think of Germany’s energy transition

10 Dec 2014   by   Comments (1)

Last month, BP – the oil company – conducted a survey in five countries bordering Germany to see what they thought about the Energiewende. Craig Morris investigates.

European Map

The Energiewende has put Germany’s energy politics on the map – even among average citizens of neighboring countries. (Photo by Alexrk2, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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EU Energy Commissioner Canete’s COMECON

08 Dec 2014   by   Comments (0)

Instead of dealing with more pressing issues, Europe’s new energy commissioner Cañete wants to eradicate differences in power prices across Europe. In reality, equal prices are not only impossible to achieve, but make no economic sense, says Jan Ondřich.

Miguel Arias Cañete

Big words, little substance. (© European Union, 2014)

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German government passes climate package

04 Dec 2014   by   Comments (3)

Yesterday, Chancellor Merkel’s cabinet officially adopted a set of new laws to help the country reach its 2020 carbon emissions reduction target of 40 percent relative to 1990. Craig Morris says the winner is… efficiency!

energy-oriented modernisation

Energy-oriented modernisation will be key for Germany’s effort to reach its 2020 carbon emission targets. (Photo by Nicor, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Christmas comes early for Central and Eastern Europe in the form of free carbon credits from Brussels

03 Dec 2014   by   Comments (1)

The EU’s 2030 climate package contains free emissions trading allowances for Central and Eastern Europe’s carbon-intensive industries. Thereby, Brussels not only conceded to the environmental damage and long overdue changes to the market, but also to the possibility of corruption. Jan Ondrich explains.

Turow Coal Mine

This Polish lignite mine is brought to you by the EU’s 2030 climate package. (Photo by Anna Uciechowska, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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The role of Latin America in global emissions

02 Dec 2014   by   Comments (0)

What is holding Latin American countries back from reducing carbon emissions? Sandra Guzman points to the central role that fossil fuels play in key economies of South America. With the discovery of non-conventional sources of fossil fuels in countries like Brazil and Mexico, tackling an energy transition might become even more challenging.

Amuay Refinery

The resource curse strikes again – an oil refinery in Venezuela. (Photo by Génesis García, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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