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The Polish dance with nuclear

26 Feb 2015   by   Comments (0)

Polish authorities cannot decide what to do with their nuclear program, once announced as the great hope for its energy system. Having no decision at the moment looks like a deliberate strategy, although it will not solve the problems of Polish energy supply, as Michał Olszewski explains.

Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant

Last time Poland danced with nuclear, it ended in a costly rejection: Ruin of the unfinished Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant. (Photo by Jan Jerszyński, CC BY-SA 2.5)

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Few new German energy co-ops in 2014

24 Feb 2015   by   Comments (0)

According to a study published in January, only 29 citizen energy cooperatives were founded in Germany last year. The German Citizen Energy Alliance says the low number is a sign that the energy sector is being handed back to big business. Craig Morris investigates.


The Energiewende is a democratic movement – but the wind has turned for citizen cooperatives. (Photo by GLSystem, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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The French energy transition and the Energiewende – a comparison

23 Feb 2015   by   Comments (0)

Repeatedly, critics of Germany’s energy transition say that France’s is a better model to follow. A closer look, however, reveals an impressive amount of overlapping. Craig Morris and Arne Jungjohann investigate.

Berlin & Paris

Two plans, similar goals – the German Energiewende and the French Transition énergétique. (Left photo by Stefan Georgi, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, right photo by Yukitake Kuriyama, CC BY-NC 2.0)

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How is Germany integrating and balancing renewable energy today?

19 Feb 2015   by editor   Comments (0)

With renewables providing 30% of Germany’s electriticy demand, the power market needs to adapt. In the following article, author Eric Martinot provides detailed insight into technical and regulatory changes that allowed the German grid to remain highly reliable and gives an outlook on future developments.

(Photo by sramses, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Germany enjoys one of the most reliable electricity grids in the world. (Photo by Steffen Ramsaier, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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What electricity really costs

18 Feb 2015   by   Comments (0)

Green Budget Germany (FÖS), an environmental taxation organization, published an update of its study on the true cost of power in January. Craig Morris investigates.

Coal and wind

It is common knowledge that coal power is dirtier than renewable energy. The fact that it has received more subsidies is less known. (Photo by missresincup, CC BY-NC 2.0)

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German government did not just approve fracking

16 Feb 2015   by   Comments (3)

After an article in Euractiv claimed that the German government had approved fracking, the Guardian made a few phone calls, including to a French campaigner. Craig Morris says that German media have remained silent on the matter for good reason – the news item is a canard.

Unlikely to become a common sight in Germany anytime soon: Fracking well in Louisiana (Photo by Daniel Foster, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Still unlikely to become a common sight in Germany anytime soon: a fracking well in Louisiana. (Photo by Daniel Foster, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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Renewables have made power cheaper for German industry

11 Feb 2015   by   Comments (0)

A study published by German university researchers for German engineering firm Siemens finds that the renewable power installations built since Fukushima have not affected the retail rate, but they have brought down wholesale rates considerably. Energy-intensive industry has benefited the most. But Craig Morris says there is something for the nuclear camp to criticize.

Renewables replacing nuclear power

Without renewables, the German phase-out of nuclear that (re-)started in 2011 would have been much more costly, especially for industrial consumers. (Photo by Doblonaut, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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Capacity reserve or strategic reserve?

09 Feb 2015   by   Comments (2)

In mid-January, German Industry Undersecretary Rainer Baake spoke at a Handelsblatt conference about the future power market design. We need to get used to a few new terms. Craig Morris explains.

Rainer Baake

Baake giving some insight in the government’s ideas for the future power market design. (Photo by EUROFORUM/Dietmar Gust)

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Energy efficiency in Latin America, the missing piece

06 Feb 2015   by   Comments (0)

Energy efficiency measures are low hanging fruits to achieve more sustainable energy systems. Still, the topic is not very high on the political agenda in Latin America. A new study compares progress made by the countries in the region and names best practices. Sandra Guzman summarizes the findings.


Total energy consumption in Latin America could be reduced by 20-25% if more stringend energy efficiency measures were implemented. (Photo by Beatrice Murch, CC BY 2.0)

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Zürich on the path to a 2,000-Watt Society

04 Feb 2015   by   Comments (1)

The City of Zürich’s Environmental Department says that the town is moving further away from the target it adopted in 2008 in a referendum.


Germany has its Energiewende; Zürich, the 2,000-Watt Society. (Photo by MadGeographer, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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