the energiewende blog
Over the past month, Craig Morris has commented on the debate surrounding net-metering (NEM) versus feed-in tariffs (FITs) several times in this blog. Today, he signs out of the discussion by pointing out that neither constitute going off-grid.
In the coming months the European Union will lay the foundation of its European climate and energy policies for the next decade. The EU’s decisions on its climate and energy framework until 2030 will also have major impacts on the international climate trajectory in the run-up to COP21 in Paris. Silvia Brugger explains how the EU’s 2030 decisions will influence the global fight against climate change.
In social media, one new meme seems to be that Germany is too dependent upon energy imports from Russia to take a strong stand on Ukrainian independence. Craig Morris says those commenters confuse energy with natural gas, and they overlook Russian dependence on Germany and the EU.
The French call it “autoproduction”; the Germans, “own consumption.” Whatever you call it, it’s becoming more popular, which may be why the German government wants to have it cover the cost of the transition as well. Craig Morris says recent policy proposals constitute an about-face and warns against stop-and-go policy support.
Regardless of debate about the success of Germany’s renewables revolution, there is no denying that a small town in the corner of rural eastern Germany, 40 miles south of Berlin, may be one of the best examples of decentralized self-sufficiency. Feldheim (pop. 150), in the cash-strapped state of Brandenburg, was a communist collective farm back when Germany was still divided into East and West. Now it is a model renewable energy village putting into practice Germany’s vision of a renewably powered future, as RMI’s Laurie Guevara-Stone reports.
Germany’s power plants fired with hard coal might soon run for fewer and fewer hours each year, being increasingly offset by renewables. Now, a labor union has called on power firms to sell these power plants to a “national company” as hard coal is phased out. Craig Morris says the firms like the idea.
Innovative policies, including higher contributions from industry, home energy efficiency improvements, and consumer awareness of price differences between suppliers, are called for to help Germans lower energy prices during the switch to renewables, argues Paul Hockenos.
On February 13, the Böll Foundation, which funds this website, held an all-day conference on Germany’s energy transition. Craig Morris says one industry representative may have been overly pessimistic about Germany’s early commitment to solar.
By all accounts – you can take the IEA’s recent statements on the matter if you like – feed-in tariffs are the main policy driver behind renewables and photovoltaics in particular. Craig Morris wonders why the policy has such fierce opponents – and why they misrepresent the policy so much.
The Kazakh government has set out to modernize its fossil fuel-dependent economy, often in cooperation with German partners. The country is home to ample supplies of both uranium and renewable sources of energy. Whether it can stay its ambitious course and sustain green developments to meet its targets for 2050 remains to be seen, reminds Komila Nabiyeva.