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Media silence on urgency of climate change?

29 Jun 2016   by   Comments (0)

Is the media doing a bad job covering climate change and the energy sector? If not, why do so many experts think so? A group of them recently met in Germany to discuss the issue. Between practitioners (journalists) and outsiders (climatologists), what was missing was media analysts. Craig Morris explains.

Dieter Janecek (MdB, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Gerd Wessling (Co-Autor und Mit-Übersetzer "Einfach. Jetzt. Machen!‟ und Vorstand, Transition Netzwerk e.V, Bielefeld), Foto:

Dieter Janecek of the German Green Party has said that there is not media silence on climate change in Germany ( Photo by Stephan Röll, modified, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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The Cost Of Solar Power In Hawaii

28 Jun 2016   by editor   Comments (4)

The Hawaiian legislature aims to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2045. Jake Richardson investigates how the state plans on incentivizing solar power to take advantage of the island’s natural sunny climate.

Hawaii Maui Makena Big Beach on a sunny day

Hawaii’s free sunlight makes it the ideal solar market (Photo by dronepicr, modified, CC BY 2.0)

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What comes after coal?

27 Jun 2016   by   Comments (0)

How do communities deal with the energy transition, in particular the loss of mining jobs? Ben Paulos takes a look at the documentary After Coal and two coal-dependent communities in Wales and Kentucky.

Black and white photo of coal mining tipple, from the PV&K Coal Company. Taken in 1946 in Harlan County, Kentucky.

Coal has been historically crucial in Appalachian communities (Photo by Russel Lee, 1946, modified, from the American National Archives and Records Adminstration)

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German government hands power sector back to energy corporations

24 Jun 2016   by   Comments (0)

The Energiewende is a federal energy policy that started off as a grassroots movement. Just a few years ago, investments in the sector clearly revealed those origins. But amendments implemented in 2014 changed the trend fundamentally. If the government does not address the issue soon, one can only include the outcome is intentional. Craig Morris takes a look.

A lot of modern looking houses with solar cells on their roofs.

A sustainable housing community in Freiburg, Germany. (Photo by Andrewglaser, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Vietnam needs a 21st Century electricity plan

23 Jun 2016   by editor   Comments (0)

In March this year, Vietnam’s government released its revised Power Development Plan VII, indicating how the country would meet its electricity needs between 2016 and 2030. The plan contained good and bad news. What Vietnam really needs is a electricity plan, suitable for the 21st century, Nguy Thi Khanh claims.

A statue of a yellow dragon

With the right incentives and the political will in place, Vietnam could power its electricity grid with power from the sun, wind, agricultural waste and micro hydro. (Public domain)

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Focus on Fulfilling the Climate Agreement instead of Lowering Power Prices: a Comment on the Debate about the “EEG Fund”

21 Jun 2016   by editor   Comments (0)

Are high power prices really the problem? The EEG Fund shows how inexpensive renewables have become. Instead of reducing the EEG surcharge, it should be used to speed up growth. Dr. Patrick Matschoss (IASS Potsdam) weighs in on the EEG debate.

Germany Ministry of Economics and Energy in Berlin on a sunny day

The Germany Ministry of Economics and Energy wants to deepen the societal discussion around the EEG (Photo by Beek100, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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The secret about nuclear power

20 Jun 2016   by   Comments (11)

There are some contradictions about the US nuclear power industry which have rich potential for creating confusion among citizens, the press, and elected officials. For instance, nuclear power is cheap to operate, but wickedly expensive to build and repair. Ben Paulos takes a look.

A nuclear power plant on a river

Nuclear power is safe – unless there is an accident. (Photo by Photorush, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Is Denmark the real energy transition leader globally?

17 Jun 2016   by   Comments (0)

For decades, the Danes have been an inspiration to and role model for German and independent proponents. But the story of what they specifically get right is not well understood in the English-speaking world. Now, American journalist Justin Gerdes has filled that gap with a short Kindle book. Craig Morris says it’s a must-read.

Von der Küste aus sind Windräder im Meer zu sehen, im Vordergrund ein kleines Haus

Germany gets all the attention with its Energiewende, but who do the Germans pay attention to? Denmark.(Photo by CGP Grey, modified, CC BY 2.0)

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Has China’s coal use peaked? Here’s how to read the tea leaves

16 Jun 2016   by editor   Comments (4)

As the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, how much coal China is burning is of global interest. According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, the tonnage of coal has fallen for the second year in the row. Nevertheless, there is one scenario in which coal use could easily go back up again: high oil and natural gas prices. Valeria J. Karplus explains.

A coal power plant in China

A sustained reduction of coal in China will be good news for the local environment and global climate. (Photo by Shubert Ciencia, modified, CC BY 2.0)

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Regional Cooperation: A Solution to the European Renewables deadlock?

14 Jun 2016   by editor   Comments (2)

German town Haren and the Dutch town Emmen try to build a regional, decentralised, mostly communal cross-border energy system. But there are several challenges that both municipalities in Emmen and Haren are facing which could be solved by a more coherent policy framework on the European level. Kathrin Glastra (Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung EU) and Anna Leidreiter (World Future Council) have a look.

A bridge over a river, in the background an old gas power station

Haren is already 147% self-sufficient by renewable electricity. (Photo by Corradox, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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