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Angst… that the Energiewende will work

24 Jul 2014   by   Comments (0)

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) says angst is a main driver behind the Energiewende, which will fail to reduce emissions without shale gas, especially without nuclear. Craig Morris says some critics sound like they are a bit afraid themselves – that the Germans might pull off their transition without fracking or nuclear.

Wind Power

The biggest fear of critics of the Energiewende is not that it will fail – but that it will succeed. (Photo by Günter Hentschel, CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Are US industry power prices that much lower than Germany’s?

22 Jul 2014   by   Comments (0)

Two German research organizations have investigated claims that low US power prices might entice German firms to relocate. As Craig Morris reports, they found a mixed bag of enticements without a clear signal that German firms should leave.

Buna-Werke Schkopau

Industrial consumers in Germany pay lower power prices than they would in Massachusetts and many other US states – while enjoying a more reliable grid. (Photo by gynti_46, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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German industry electricity prices are becoming more competitive

21 Jul 2014   by   Comments (0)

It’s not easy to assess the impact of the Energiewende on industry. On the one hand, German wholesale power prices are lower than in neighboring countries and falling. On the other, we read that German industry pays above-average prices for power. Now, a study by Green Budget Germany (FÖS) provides a revealing comparison. Craig Morris investigates.

Industry in Wiesbaden

Full speed ahead: German industry power prices are becoming more competitive. (Photo by Martin Fisch, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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A global overview of carbon leakage

18 Jul 2014   by   Comments (0)

The world counts carbon emissions by country where fuels are combusted, i.e. where the CO2 is emitted. A new study shows how great the differences are when we count products consumed. Craig Morris takes a closer look at how Germany, the UK, Russia, China and France fared in the study.

Cargo Ship

Not only jobs are shipped overseas, but also our carbon footprint. (photo by Rob124, CC BY 2.0)

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How opposite energy policies turned the Fukushima disaster into a loss for Japan and a win for Germany

17 Jul 2014   by editor   Comments (0)

When the Fukushima accident happened, both Japan and Germany were highly dependent on nuclear power. Whereas Germany has sped up its Energiewende ever since, Japanese politics have remained captured by the interest of utilities. Amory Lovins compares the political effects of the nuclear accident on both countries and debunks some myths around the outcomes of Germany’s energy transition along the way.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

The tsunami and the following disaster around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011 sent Japan’s energy policy on an unsteady course – whereas Germany embarked upon a nuclear-free future.

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Structural adjustments for Chinese energy transition

16 Jul 2014   by editor   Comments (5)

Over the last years, China has become the world’s biggest market for renewables. But due to it’s ever growing energy demand, fossil fuels are still considered part of China’s energy future. YU Wenxuan sheds a light on the current state of China’s Energiewende.

Mulan Wind Farm

China shows the highest growth rates of wind and solar capacity worldwide. Wind Farm in Heilongjiang Province. (Photo by Land Rover Our Planet, CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Germany’s excess generation capacity

14 Jul 2014   by   Comments (0)

Over the past decade, German power firms made considerable investments in new conventional capacity. At the same time, German SMEs, energy cooperatives, and ordinary citizens made considerable investments in renewable generation capacity. The result is excess capacity. Craig Morris takes a look at some of the country’s energy experts who did not see this outcome coming.

Grafenrheinfeld

The lights at the nuclear power station Grafenrheinfeld and other conventional power plants in Germany might go out faster than planned. One of the reasons: excess capacity. (Photo by MarcelG, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Energiewende à la Française – two steps forward, one step back?

11 Jul 2014   by editor   Comments (0)

The French government has recently presented the first details on a long expected energy transition law. While it might help in the transport and heating sector, too little is done to switch France’s energy system from nuclear to renewables, argues Kathrin Glastra.

Only green from afar - French nuclear power. (Photo by Daniel Jolivet, CC BY 2.0)

The closer you look at it, the less green it becomes – French nuclear power and energy policy. (Photo by Daniel Jolivet, CC BY 2.0)

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Did Germany give thumbs up or down to Fracking?

10 Jul 2014   by   Comments (0)

Depending on who you ask, Germany just imposed a temporary moratorium on fracking or just opened the floodgates for it. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle, with opposing camps reading the worst into the facts for their own political campaigning. Craig Morris says the situation in Ukraine is illustrative.

Fracking Well in Louisiana

Unlikely to become a common sight in Germany anytime soon: Fracking well in Louisiana (Photo by Daniel Foster, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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The Death of another ‘Beautiful Game’?

09 Jul 2014   by editor   Comments (0)

The European Commission is redesigning its renewable energy policy – at the expense of small co-ops, citizens and consumers. Alan Simpson compares the situation to football – and hopes that we can still turn around the game.

Kick-Off

The European Commission’s renewable energy policy deserves a red card. (Photo by Jon Candy, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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