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The cost burden of offshore wind

28 May 2015   by   Comments (3)

A recent paper by Berlin-based think tank Agora Energiewende finds that Germany is paying now for cost reductions in the future. While other countries can expect rising power costs, German costs will stabilize and then begin to drop in the 2030s. Craig Morris explains.

Alpha Ventus

Offshore wind will cause higher costs than PV in the future. (Photo by Martina Nolte, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Zero German coal plants as a reaction to Fukushima

27 May 2015   by   Comments (4)

Reading headlines like “Germany’s nuclear cutback is darkening European skies” makes Craig Morris despair over the state of journalism.

On this photo we present to you all coal power plants that were planned in Germany due to the nuclear phase-out: none. (Photo by glasseyes view, CC BY-SA 2.0)

On this photo, you can see all coal power plants that were planned in Germany due to the nuclear phase-out after the Fukushima accident: zero. (Photo by glasseyes view, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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German power bills are low compared to US average

26 May 2015   by   Comments (3)

In 2015, the average German household power bill fell slightly from 85 euros to 84 euros per month. What’s more, that level is relatively low compared to US averages. But Craig Morris says comparisons are not easy.

American residential power bill

A lot of American households have higher electricity bills than their German counterparts. (Photo by alliecat1881, CC BY-NC 2.0)

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Electricity market design: Will demand react to variations in power supply?

21 May 2015   by editor   Comments (3)

Traditionally, power production has followed demand. Due to the growth of renewable power production, it is increasingly becoming lucrative to actively manage demand to profit from fluctuating power prices. Benjamin Bayer reports about first experiences with demand response in the US and explains how the regulatory framework needs to change in Germany.

Cold storages and even commercial refrigeration offers a huge potential for demand-response. (Photo by N-Lange.de, GFDL)

Cold storages and even commercial refrigeration can offer potential for demand response, as their load can usually be shifted by several hours. (Photo by N-Lange.de, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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The future of utilities: extinction or re-invention? A transatlantic perspective

19 May 2015   by editor   Comments (1)

In her recent paper published by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, energy expert Susanne Fratzscher, identifies seven transformative trends that utilities in the US and Germany will have to face in the coming years. Susanne goes on to outline models that will likely help this transatlantic utility transformation to succeed. Here is a summary of her findings.

The future of utilities

Utilities need to embrace the decentralisation and decarbonisation of energy if they do not want to risk becoming obsolete. (Photo by StockMonkeys.com, CC BY 2.0)

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Ambiguous Russian climate pledge mystifies many

18 May 2015   by editor   Comments (0)

Russia has submitted its climate goals to the UN. A close analysis reveals the shortcomings of the contribution, especially in regards to the role of forestry, as Sophie Yeo and Dr. Simon Evans explain.

(Photo by Brian Jeffery Beggerly, CC BY 2.0)

As confusing as a birch forest – the Russian INDC. (Photo by Brian Jeffery Beggerly, CC BY 2.0)

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What developing countries are learning from the Energiewende

13 May 2015   by   Comments (0)

Last year, Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) published a survey of the BRICS countries, revealing their opinions on Germany’s energy transition. In April, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) followed up with a study focusing on developing countries. Craig Morris reports.

PV in Morocco

Germany’s Energiewende has lead the way, now developing countries around the world are embarking on their own energy transitions. (Photo by Isofoton.es, CC BY 3.0)

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Solar twice as expensive in US as in Germany

11 May 2015   by   Comments (2)

What difference does policy make? Craig Morris says that a comparison of the low prices for installed solar arrays in Germany with more expensive arrays in the US is a good way to start answering that question.

Solar Power in Louisiana

More sun and higher prices? Some US states set the wrong incentives for solar development. (Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Sustainable Development Goals – considerations from Latin America

08 May 2015   by   Comments (0)

Sustainable energy is one of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that the UN has come up with. Lillian Sol Cueva reflects what this means for Latin America and how the goal could be achieved.

Belo Horizonte

A sustainable energy system needs to accomplish more than just carbon neutrality. (Photo by Cristiano Oliveira, CC BY-NC 2.0)

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The future of energy leaning towards decentralization

07 May 2015   by editor   Comments (0)

Tesla’s announcement of batteries for power storage caused a lot of turmoil last week. Kartikeya Singh analyses the significance of the product for the power market and sees it as part of a global trend towards energy decentralization.

Tesla Powerwall

Not only green, but also cool. (Photo by Tesla Motors)

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