the energiewende blog
There are increasingly reports that the Energiewende is hurting German industry. Yet, such concerns come at a time when the German economy has never looked better. Craig Morris explains.
The Baltic states, overwhelmingly dependent upon Russian energy supplies, experience most directly the high costs of their neighbor’s political pressure on the EU. Paul Hockenos wonders, if diversification including renewables could provide these countries some relief.
Foreigners sometimes quote statements made by industry experts and politicians over the past decade to show that the country did indeed conscientiously build coal to replace nuclear. That’s true, but as Craig Morris explains the outcome was that, contrary to these expert expectations, renewables replaced nuclear, so we are now left with excess coal capacity. Part 2 of a 3-part series.
In 2011, Germany switched off 8 of its 17 nuclear plants. Since then, the country has made headlines not only for its campaign to reduce energy consumption and ramp up renewables – the “Energiewende” – but also for increasing production of coal power in 2013. So is Germany’s energy transition in reality more a switch to coal than to renewables? And is renewable electricity incapable of replacing the country’s nuclear power? Craig Morris investigates in part one of a three-part series.
Germany’s Energiewende has also impacted Poland and the Czech Republic, but these effects are rarely discussed or well-understood by German lawmakers. EU-wide energy policies are needed in order to ensure that Germany’s transition to renewables is permanent, sustainable, and fair to its neighbors.
As Craig Morris explained last week, our website underwent its first major revision at the beginning of the year. Today, he presents and briefly explains some of the new charts.
Following the Russian incorporation of the Crimea the West has imposed sanctions on the Russian banking sector as well as on Russian and Ukrainian individuals with close contacts to the Putin regime. In spite of these somewhat symbolic sanctions, the first effects are already apparent: capital is flowing out of Russia and planned European investments in the country are being put on hold. Matthias Ruchser from the German Development Institute examines how recent divergences between the West and Russia might impact the energy transition in Germany and Europe.
Today, the German coalition is meeting with governors of the 16 German states to discuss details of the highly anticipated amendment to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). Craig Morris says the public – including the sectors affected – have practically no time to respond. What he really wants – but is unlikely to get – is an estimation of what is needed annually.
The Energiewende continues to evolve, not only with new data, but also with new legislation and new topics. Last month, this website therefore received its first overhaul. Over the next few weeks, we would like to draw your attention to a few of the changes.
Oliver Geden and Severin Fischer of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) recently published a study on how the German Energiewende fits into the European context. Today, Geden sums up the issue for us.