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Germany’s Energiewende proves electricity can be clean and reliable

22 Oct 2014   by editor   Comments (0)

Germany has rapidly increased the share of renewables in its power mix. Critics claim that this has lead to grid instability. Peter Sopher looks at the numbers and shows that German grid stability has actually increased and is much higher than in most other countries.

Germany's grid continues to be one of the most stable worldwide, thanks, in part, to underground cables. (Photo by Nico Pudimat)

Germany’s grid continues to be one of the most stable worldwide, thanks, in part, to underground cables. (Photo by Nico Pudimat)

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How competitive are renewables with conventional power?

21 Oct 2014   by   Comments (0)

A new meta-study published by German renewables organization AEE reviews around a dozen recent studies on power generation costs from both renewable and conventional energy sources. The trend is clear, and one of the studies is a clear outlier. Craig Morris explains.

PV & Coal

Renewables are becoming increasingly competitive with conventional sources of power. (Photo by EnergieAgentur.NRW, CC BY 2.0)

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German reliance on market players makes energy policy legal

16 Oct 2014   by   Comments (0)

In his previous post, Craig Morris talks about how the renewable surcharge will drop for the first time in 2015. But there is another interesting aspect to the issue. Germany allows transmission grid operators (TSOs), rather than a government entity, to calculate the charge. For the EU, that distinction is the difference between legal and illegal.

Wind Power in France: While the differences are rather technical, the European Court of Justice

Wind Power in France: While the legal differences are rather subtle, the European Court of Justice ruled against the French Feed-In Tariff while allowing the more market-based German one. (Photo by Pinpin, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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A first: German renewable energy surcharge shrinks

15 Oct 2014   by   Comments (1)

The outcome was roughly predictable at least as far back as January, but today Germany’s four transit grid operators (TSOs) announced the specific figure for the renewables surcharge for 2015. But the decrease is so small that retail rates might not even be affected. Will the government at least admit its new policies are not the reason? Craig Morris investigates.

The renewable energy surcharge will shrink in 2015, possibly lowering consumer prices - but the government should not boast this as their success. (Photo by  Rudolpho Duba  / pixelio.de)

The renewable energy surcharge will shrink in 2015, possibly lowering consumer prices – but the government should not boast this as their success. (Photo by Rudolpho Duba / pixelio.de)

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Is offshore wind the big story?

14 Oct 2014   by   Comments (0)

Increasingly, we read that offshore wind in Germany is getting going. While the news is good, it overstates the role of offshore wind in the country’s energy transition. Craig Morris explains.

(Photo by Martin Doppelbauer, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Compared to onshore, offshore wind power plays only a subordinate role for Germany’s Energiewende. (Photo by Martin Doppelbauer, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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While critics debate Energiewende, Germany is gaining a global advantage

13 Oct 2014   by editor   Comments (0)

An often heard criticism of Germany’s Energiewende is its high price tag for consumers. Peter Sopher argues that a focus on price alone is shortsighted – as the economic and societal benefits outweight the cost by far.

Wind Turbine Installation

Transitioning to renewables is a veritable job engine. (Photo by Jenud, CC BY 2.0)


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The price of new nuclear revisited

09 Oct 2014   by   Comments (4)

The European Commission just gave the go-ahead to a strike price for new nuclear power in the UK – essentially feed-in tariffs. Since it is adjusted for inflation, how can it be estimated over a period of 35 years? Craig Morris investigates.

Hinkley

Power from Hinkley Point C won’t cost the taxpayer 109€/MWh, but closer to 150-200€/MWh – which makes it even less competitive with renewables. (Photo by Richard Baker, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Cash cow of power sector goes dry

08 Oct 2014   by   Comments (0)

Over at Renew Economy, our colleague Giles Parkinson reviews a study by HSBC showing that “generators are to be the biggest losers” in the energy transition currently taking place worldwide. Today, Craig Morris talks about what that looks like in Germany.

Photo of better days in the early 90s - coventional German power plants have increasing difficulties to stay profitable.

Photo of better days in the early 90s – conventional German power plants have increasing difficulties to stay profitable. (Photo by Rainer Weisflog, Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-0629-013, CC-BY-SA)


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How BRICS countries view the Energiewende

06 Oct 2014   by   Comments (0)

Regular readers of this blog have a good overview of how North America and the UK view Germany’s energy transition, but what do emerging economies think? The Konrad Adenauer Foundation has taken some comprehensive surveys. Craig Morris investigates.

(Photo by  GovernmentZA, CC BY-ND 2.0)

The German Energiewende’s success isn’t its domestic impact, but being an international leader that proofs that a swift transition to renewables is viable. (Photo by GovernmentZA, CC BY-ND 2.0)

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100% renewable energy as centerpiece of a climate action plan

02 Oct 2014   by editor   Comments (0)

At the end of September, the heads of states met in New York for a climate summit to pledge action on climate change. While renewables were not at the center of attention, Anna Leidreiter argues that future commitments need to contain a pledge to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. A growing number of cities, regions and even countries around the world have already proven that such a path is realistic.

Denmark was the first major economy announcing it was going 100% renewable - other countries need to follow. (Photo by CGP Grey, CC BY 2.0)

Denmark was the first major economy announcing it was going 100% renewable – an example other countries need to follow. (Photo by CGP Grey, CC BY 2.0)

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