the energiewende blog

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German Audit Office says Energiewende too expensive

01 Sep 2014   by   Comments (0)

In August, the Bundesrechnungshof (BRH), which reviews the federal government’s finances, found that the Energiewende is proceeding without proper coordination. Up to now, there have only been press reports about leaked versions of the paper, which has yet to be made public. Craig Morris reviews what we know.

(Photo by Eckhard Henkel, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

The German Bundesrechnungshof says the Energiewende is too expensive – but does not make many suggestions on how to make it cheaper. (Photo by Eckhard Henkel, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

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German government willing participant in Energiewende

28 Aug 2014   by   Comments (3)

A recent Time article entitled “Germans happily pay more for renewable energy. But would others?” has a refreshing focus but makes obvious mistakes. Craig Morris says it also shows how hard a time the Anglo world has properly understanding the Energiewende.

Germans continue to support the Energiewende, because its benefits are spread democratically. (Photo by  Rudolpho Duba  /

Germans continue to support the Energiewende, because its benefits are spread democratically. (Photo by Rudolpho Duba /

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German exports of renewable technology

27 Aug 2014   by   Comments (0)

One of the reasons to be a first mover is technological leadership. Germany is recognized as such a first mover in wind power, biomass, and solar. New data reveal the extent to which Germany has succeeded, as Craig Morris explains.

Container Terminal Hamburg

The majority of renewable technology produced in Germany is exported. In the photo: Container Terminal in Hamburg. (Photo by Tobias Mandt, CC BY 2.0)

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German grid more stable in 2013

25 Aug 2014   by   Comments (3)

It’s bad news for the folks insisting that renewables are wreaking havoc on the grid – last year, the average number of minutes of power outages in Germany fell below the already leading level of 2012 and below the average over the past seven years. Craig Morris looks into the situation.

Grid and Wind Power

Even though critics often paint scary scenarios, growth in renewable energy and grid stability are no opposites at all. (Photo by David Iliff, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

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Renewable energy patents boom in Germany

21 Aug 2014   by   Comments (0)

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.

(Photo from

The German renewable energy law helped stimulate innovation as the number of patents registered on renewable energy technology multiplied. (Photo from

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China’s choice in transitioning away from an oil regime

19 Aug 2014   by editor   Comments (0)

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.

Oil Pumping Station in China

Instead on relying on unconventional oil and gas sources to bridge the ever increasing import gap, China should transition to using renewables. (Photo by Bert van Dijk, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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The conceptual underpinnings of a low carbon transition

14 Aug 2014   by   Comments (0)

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.

Wind Power 1980s

From niche to mainstream – German Windenergiepark Westküste in 1985. (Photo by Heidelberg GmbH, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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French labor union openly opposes nuclear

12 Aug 2014   by   Comments (2)

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.

Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant

The pro-nuclear coalition in France continues to crumble, as biggest French union CGT debates its position on nuclear and further operation of Fessenheim nuclear plant. (Photo by Florival fr, CC BY SA 3.0)

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We need a European energy transition

07 Aug 2014   by   Comments (0)

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.

European Renewables

From Portugese solar to Finnish wind power – Europe needs a comprehensive push for renewable energies. (Photos by Ceinturion & Teemu Vehkaoja, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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The European energy union – or how to return to coal

06 Aug 2014   by   Comments (0)

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.

Mysłowice-Wesoła Coal Mine

Outdated, dirty and without government intervention increasingly uncompetitive – Polish Coal. (Photo by Kris Duda, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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