the energiewende blog

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Saving the community first, the planet second

19 Oct 2016   by   Comments (4)

It is often held that citizens get involved in energy coops in order to profit personally. That’s true, but it’s also overrated as a motive. Now, a new study puts the various reasons in context, and gives Craig Morris some hard data for what he says he already knew anecdotally from numerous such projects. The findings may surprise you—and the German government.

Visitors to the Westmill Solar Cooperative in the UK

Visitors to the Westmill Solar Cooperative in the UK (Photo by MrRenewables, edited, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Developing by inhibiting

17 Oct 2016   by   Comments (1)

Poland’s Plan for Responsible Development is supposed to help Poland escape economic stagnation. But the money recieved from the EU has mostly been spent on upgrading coal plants, and attempts at building renewable plants have fallen flat. Michał Olszewski takes a look.

Wind farm near Zagórze, Poland

Wind farm near Zagórze, Poland (Photo by Zwiadowca21, edited, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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German renewable power surcharge increases by 8%

14 Oct 2016   by   Comments (5)

The amount reported as the cost of renewable electricity has nearly reached seven cents per kilowatt-hour, almost as much as the lowest retail rates in the United States. Yet, the main price driver is reportedly “falling wholesale prices.” Sound weird? Maybe it’s time to change the surcharge’s name, Craig Morris suggests.

Krughütte Solar Park from above on a sunny day

Krughütte Solar Park in Germany (Photo by Parabel GMBH, edited, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Success of EU foreign policy hinges on climate and energy security

12 Oct 2016   by editor   Comments (3)

Europe’s global strategic interests have become inseparable from managing climate risk and the global Energy Transition, write Luca Bergamaschi, Nick Mabey, Jonathan Gaventa and Camilla Born of the independent climate and energy think tank E3G. In a new report, EU foreign policy in a changing climate, they set out how Europe can make these themes a central thread in its foreign policy.

lights of Europe, northern africa, asia by night

The new energy economy is now at the heart of Europe’s security (Photo by NASA, edited).

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German EV sales go nowhere

10 Oct 2016   by   Comments (4)

The government’s new 4,000-euro bonus for electric vehicles is a dud. Why are the Germans so reluctant to buy EVs? And why is there is little support for e-bikes? Craig Morris takes a look.


Electric cars at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin; most Germans have been reluctant to buy EVs (Photo by Avda, edited, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Swiss ban new nuclear reactors

06 Oct 2016   by   Comments (2)

Another setback for the “nuclear renaissance”: Switzerland voted on Friday to focus more on renewables and efficiency. For the first time ever, new nuclear plants are officially off the table—though admittedly, none were planned. The Swiss just “adopted the Energiewende,” writes the Neue Züricher Zeitung. Is no one paying attention? Craig Morris has the details.

steam cloud of the Leibstadt nuclear power plant seen from Dörflingen

The sun sets on the Leibstadt nuclear power plant, as seen from Dörflingen, Switzerland (Photo by Hansueli Krapf, edited, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Minnesota leading energy innovation

05 Oct 2016   by editor   Comments (1)

Minnesota’s 2025 Energy Action Plan is an ambitious attempt to increase renewable energy and strengthen the state’s economy. It could also serve as a model for other states in the region to work on reducing emissions and advancing local solutions.

The Fenton wind park in Minnesota at sunset

The Fenton wind park in Minnesota; in 2914, wind provided 15% of the state’s power (Photo by Windtech, edited, CC BY 3.0)

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Germany’s last new coal plant

03 Oct 2016   by   Comments (2)

Will another coal plant ever be opened in Germany? Only one is currently in the pipeline officially, and it has almost been completed—and could be put into operation soon. So what’s the holdup? Craig Morris takes a look.

Kühltürme des Kraftwerks Datteln

The towers of the last coal plant in Germany? Kraftwerk Datteln (Photo by Don Geochotte, edited, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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The British bias towards expensive nuclear power

28 Sep 2016   by editor   Comments (7)

Why has Hinkley C been approved, despite huge costs and public outcry? Dr Phil Johnstone summarizes the new report ‘Understanding the Intensity of UK Policy Commitments to Nuclear Power,’ raising questions about British transparency and democracy.

HMS Vigilant is the third Vanguard-class submarine of the Royal Navy. Vigilant carries the Trident ballistic missile, the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent.

The HMS Vigilant carries the Trident ballistic missile, the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent (Photo by Thomas McDonald/MOD, edited, Open Government License)

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We need to prove German automakers wrong

26 Sep 2016   by   Comments (3)

German carmakers ignored electric vehicles, banking instead on old diesel. The same firms also failed to see particle filters and catalytic converters coming. Craig Morris takes a look.

view of the autobahn from a rear view mirror

Why have German companies reject new technology that would make cars cleaner? (Photo by Mike Birdy, edited, CC 1.0)

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