the energiewende blog
Germany may not have much sun, but it is positioning itself to sell products to those who do. But while some solar manufacturers continue to struggle, German patent registrations have boomed in recent years – not only for solar, but for wind power as well. Craig Morris investigates.
With its increasing hunger for resources, China has become highly dependent on oil and gas imports. Wang Tao recommends that the country should not give into the short-sighted urge to tap unconventional oil resources, risking ecosystems and water quality alike. Instead, the country should fastly increase the use of renewable resources.
On this blog, we usually concentrate on the policiies and daily politics of Germany’s Energiewende. Saliem Fakir takes a step back and explains the requirements and the process of low carbon transitions – and what this means for South Africa.
This is big news – for the first time, French labour union General Confederation of Labor (CGT) has spoken out clearly for the closure of France’s oldest nuclear plant. The reasons given argue against nuclear in general. Craig Morris investigates.
The Ukrainian crisis of the last months has called Europe’s strategic dependency on Russian energy imports into question. According to Matthias Ruchser, there can be only one future-proof answer to the current dilemma, which will decarbonise Europe while also increasing energy independency: A European energy transition.
The Polish government is one of the proponents of a European energy union. Unfortunately, its sole concerns are cheap access to gas and the survival of Polish coal – a goal that runs completely contrary to the EU’s climate policy, argues Michał Olszewski.
The German Industry Ministry (BMWi) recently published a chart presenting an overview of the government’s roadmap up to the end of 2016. Craig Morris says it is encouraging to see how much wider the scope is than just the power sector, but he noticed that one thing is still missing.
The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) has proven to be the most successful policy for climate protection and sustainable development. As the cornerstone of overwhelming renewable energy development worldwide, it has resulted in significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, green jobs, revenues for governments and citizens and cost-competitive alternatives to harmful fossil fuels. Despite all that, the FiT is currently under attack. This is especially so in frontrunner country Germany, where the government has approved the phase out of the FiT through recent reform. But as Anna Leidreiter explains, the Feed-in Tariff is a better policy than is commonly understood.
The EU has provided 1 billion euros in funding in order to leverage another 0.9 billion in private investments for a major new carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the UK. Craig Morris investigates why Energiewende’s supporters are not more enthusiastic.
The price of solar has plummeted in recent years, but as the share of solar on the grid increases, associated costs will be incurred: idling backup capacity, forecasting errors, etc. Now, leading US researchers have tried to put a price tag on those costs. Craig Morris says the situation they describe for 2027 looks a bit like Germany today.