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The new Coal Atlas

25 Nov 2015   by   Comments (0)

Friends of the Earth International and the Heinrich Böll Foundation (which runs this website) have joined forces to produce an international version of the Coal Atlas originally published in German earlier this year. Craig Morris reports.

Coal Atlas

The Coal Atlas offers insights into the role, risks and future of coal in energy systems around the world.

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Renewable energy: untapped fuel for Mediterranean economies

24 Nov 2015   by editor   Comments (0)

Despite the fact that in the sunniest region of Europe there is a vast potential of energy from the sun (and wind), renewable energy is a resource that is being ignored. In a time when Southern European countries are struggling with debt and stagnating economies, clean renewable energy solutions can be a smart way to go. Expert studies commissioned by Greenpeace Croatia, Greece, Italy and Spain show how the Southern European governments can boost their economies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate their energy transition by enabling massive small-scale investments into renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions. Dejan Savic summarizes the findings.

Solar power on Mallorca

The Mediterranean economies could become the renewable powerhouses of Europe.

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Renewable power curtailment skyrockets in Germany

23 Nov 2015   by   Comments (2)

The German Network Agency has published an overview of power curtailment in 2014. While the level has reached a new high, it is still in line with what is normal in other countries. Craig Morris takes a look.

Wind Turbines and power lines

Particularly for wind power, curtailment can become an issue. (Photo by High Contrast, modified, CC BY 3.0 DE)

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Can Mexico build a more energy-efficient urban transport through Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems?

20 Nov 2015   by   Comments (0)

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems have been widely hailed as innovative solutions for growing urban agglomerations around the world. Lillian Sol Cueva argues that their introduction helped to ameliorate pressing issues of congestion and harmful emissions in Mexico. But for the systems to be truly successful, a holistic approach towards public transportation is necessary.

Bus Rapid Transit in Bogota

Bus Rapid Transit Systems have taken South America and Asia by storm – but can they solve the structural challenges of public transportation that expanding urban agglomerations face? (Photo by Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil, modified, CC BY-NC 2.0)

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What the US Keystone protests and the German nuclear phase-out have in common

19 Nov 2015   by   Comments (0)

People who want to change the world need to understand why some campaigns are successful while others aren’t. One US commentator has investigated the Keystone campaign’s success in this respect. The overlapping with the German nuclear phase-out is salient. By Craig Morris.

Keystone and nuclear protests

The anti-Keystone movement and the German anti-nuclear movement share a lot of characteristics that allowed both movements to ultimately succeed. (Photos by tarsandaction/Emma Cassidy, CC BY 2.0 & Hans Weingartz, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, modified)

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What will the Energiewende cost?

18 Nov 2015   by   Comments (6)

Researchers from Fraunhofer ISE have published a new report investigating the net cost of Germany’s energy transition. The good news is that the German government’s current goals are likely to be affordable. The bad news is that 100 percent renewable energy is less so.

Cost calculation

In terms of cost, there is a huge difference between an 85% and a 100% renewable energy system.

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How lax EU standards could enter the US

17 Nov 2015   by   Comments (0)

Europeans fear that the TTIP free trade agreement between the United States and the EU would water down their environmental standards, but the recent diesel emissions scandal shows that the opposite could be the case. Craig Morris explains.

Car Pollution

Coming to a street near you: lax European car emission standards. (Photo by
Simone Ramella, CC BY 2.0)

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If Germany had four times more solar…

16 Nov 2015   by   Comments (6)

Germany is the country with the most photovoltaics installed worldwide. A new study now says that solar in combination with batteries would allow a lot more PV to be installed. Craig Morris says the investigation confirms his worst fears.

Battery Storage

Battery storage for PV can provide benefits to individual households – but is it actually economically desirable on the grid level?

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Slippery slope towards French nuclear phaseout

13 Nov 2015   by   Comments (3)

Like all Western countries, France has an aging fleet of nuclear reactors. If it does not extend the service lives of its existing fleet, it will have to build new reactors. Otherwise, the country will have an undeclared nuclear phaseout. Craig Morris explains.

Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant Control Room

The technology of the 1970s – today: Nuclear Power Plant in Gravelines, France. (Photo by Serge Ottaviani, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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German power exports more valuable than imports

12 Nov 2015   by   Comments (0)

Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) has added a new section on power trading to its Energy Charts website. Craig Morris says it dispels the myth that Germany is dumping excess renewable electricity on neighboring countries at low prices.

Power Lines

Germany is not giving away free electricity, in fact its net exports earn the country almost €2 billion.

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