the energiewende blog
Recent developments in Germany have largely been centered on the transformation of electricity production, but to meet its stated targets, Germany needs to double down on efforts in the areas of transportation, heat and energy efficiency, as Boyan Dobrev points out.
The plan to implement a sort of national carbon emissions trading scheme specifically to clamp down on electricity from lignite is now officially dead. Last night, the German government adopted a different plan with a broader focus. Aside from the coal sector, no one seems to like it. Craig Morris investigates.
Because biomass can be used not only to generate electricity, but also as a source of heat and motor fuel, it makes up the largest chunk of renewable energy in most countries by far. Craig Morris says, however, that the growth of biomass is largely over in Germany.
It’s back again – the claim that Germany will rely on foreign base load, especially nuclear, in its energy transition. Craig Morris wonders why proponents of nuclear power understand the technology and markets so poorly.
The restructuring of the energy system in one of the world’s leading industrialized nations is undoubtedly a highly ambitious undertaking. There is no blueprint for this energy transition that would offer a simple step-by-step procedure to follow. In that sense, the Energiewende is an open learning process and pilot project at the same time, one that is being observed internationally with a mixture of hope and skepticism. However, there is one thing that the German energy transition is certainly not: an island of its own that isolates Germany’s energy economy. On the contrary, a quick overview of the world’s state of affairs with regard to energy shows that the global energy transition is now picking up speed, as Ralf Fücks points out.
And then there were eight… This weekend, the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant in northern Bavaria will shut down permanently. It is the first nuclear plant to close since 2011.
While we keep burning harmful fossil fuels on an unimaginable scale, there’s also a number of good news: A growing number of communities around the world set themselves a goal of 100% renewables. What we need most are thus visionaries and political will, argues Stefan Schurig.
With Tesla’s announcement of battery storage systems for households, storage for photovoltaics has become a major news item. Furthermore, one of the main questions about the energy transition is how the grid will be stabilized without central power plants. Craig Morris visited German battery firm Younicos and got an answer to this question.
In March this year, Poland finally decided to support decentralized rooftop PV. Since then, opponents have managed to dismantle the project step by step. Michał Olszewski reports from Poland.
German utilities have gone on a shopping spree, taking over struggling planning firms to gain sorely needed expertise and assets. The trend can be heralded as a sign that these firms are finally taking part in the energy transition – or as a potential threat to the community cooperative movement that fostered the Energiewende all along. Craig Morris says the fate of Prokon is exemplary in this respect.