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EnBW: No State Liability for Unlawful Nuclear Power Moratorium Damages

29 Apr 2016   by editor   Comments (0)

The Bonn Regional Court (LG Bonn) dismissed EnBW’s compensation claim against the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Baden-Württemberg. EnBW had asked for EUR 261 million because of the temporary unlawful moratorium shutdown of the Neckarwestheim I and Philippsburg I nuclear power plants. Annette Lang and Dr. Matthias Lang have a look.

The nuclear power plant Neckarwestheim 1

One of Germany’s oldest nuclear power plant, Neckarwestheim I, was shut down in March 2011. (Photo by Thomas Springer, modified, public domain)

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German PV auctions reach record low price, but most bids still lose

27 Apr 2016   by   Comments (2)

Germany completed its fourth round of auctions for ground-mounted photovoltaics this month, and the government is pleased with the outcome in light of the continued falling prices. The Undersecretary in Germany’s Energy Ministry also speaks of “intense competition” as a positive outcome. The other side of that coin is a lot of losing bids – not to mention those who didn’t bother to take part. Craig Morris explains.

PV Installation

PV has never been so cheap in Germany: the price has fallen to 7.4 cents . (Photo by Wayne National Forest, CC BY 2.0)

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Nuclear written off before Chernobyl

26 Apr 2016   by   Comments (0)

30 years ago, Chernobyl made the public fear radioactivity, thereby setting back the progress of nuclear technology – most articles you read today about the accident probably say something along those lines. For Craig Morris, that reading is a major accomplishment for the nuclear sector. The real story looks much worse.

Monument and the reactor number 4 under the so-called sarcophag.

Reactor 4 under the “sarcophag” with the monument in front of it. (Photo by Tila Monto, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Swiss Energy Transition without Europe

25 Apr 2016   by editor   Comments (0)

The bilateral relations with Switzerland and the EU have been clouded after the successful immigration referendum. That’s negatively impacting inter alia the negotiations about an energy agreement which should enable Switzerland to participate in the internal energy market. Alexander Steinfeldt explains.

A red train is driving with the Swiss Alps in the background.

The EU needs Switzerland as a transit state. (Photo by Hansueli Krapf, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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First stirrings of call for ban on non-EVs in Germany

22 Apr 2016   by   Comments (1)

Don’t add Germany to the list of countries officially considering banning sales of cars running on gasoline or diesel just yet. But several prominent people are pushing the government to take steps in this direction. One of them is Energiewende Undersecretary Rainer Baake. Craig Morris explains.

Traffic jam on a freeway in Germany.

Cars running on diesel or gasoline – are they going to be banned soon in Germany? (Photo by Radosław Drożdżewski, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Making energy efficiency an energy source in its own right

21 Apr 2016   by editor   Comments (0)

The Energy Union Strategy has called for a fundamental rethinking of energy efficiency. There are some solid arguments to treat it as an energy source in its own right, representing the value of energy saved. Redefining energy efficiency as an own energy source also would have far reaching consequences. Ada Amon and Ingrid Holmes explain.

Europe by night

To make the multiple benefits of energy efficiency visible, it needs to be treated as infrastructure. (Photo by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, modified, public domain)

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How arguments on solar power affect public support in the US and Germany

19 Apr 2016   by editor   Comments (10)

Jobs, fighting climate change, energy security – there are a number of good reasons to support solar power. But as Alexander Franke explains in his recent essay published by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, arguments by solar activists differ widely in Germany and the US. He argues that solar supporters should continue to focus their ideas and arguments on their target audience, even if that entails talking less about environmental issues.

Solar park in the foreground, a landscape with hills in the background.

Solar power gets more and more support from conservative partys and organizations. (Photo by Petr Katrochvil, modified, Public Domain)

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California has too much coal and nuclear

18 Apr 2016   by   Comments (4)

“Texas and California have too much renewable energy,” writes Technology Review this month. “California has too much solar power,” chimes in. Nonsense, says Craig Morris, a political arrangement is being passed off as a technical issue. Stop protecting nuclear and coal; get rid of baseload.

Windmills in California with a sunset in the background.

Is there too much wind and solar power in California? (Photo by Tony Webster, modified, CC BY 3.0)

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Global coal power: capacity keeps going up, utilisation goes down

14 Apr 2016   by editor   Comments (3)

While the amount of electricity generated from coal has declined for two years in a row and utilisation rates of coal power plants have been going down, energy companies continue to build new coal-fired generating plants at a rapid pace. Worldwide the equivalent of 1500 coal plants is under construction or in various stages of planning, Karel Beckmann writes.

Neurath Coal Power Plant

Coal power in construction either dropped or remained level, but rise in China and South Asia. (Photo by Marcel Oosterwijk, modified, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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WANTED: Champions for a cleaner, greener city

13 Apr 2016   by   Comments (0)

Solar water heaters, or biofuel-powered public buses, or any other low-carbon solution isn’t going to install itself or switch itself on. Without visionary thinkers to champion the cause, without people to plan for business-unusual and craft the regulations that’ll make it easier to implement, Southern Africa’s cities won’t evolve into the energy-smart, carbon-friendly engine rooms that they must become, writes Leonie Joubert.

View of Cape Town and the Waterfront from Table Mountain

In Cape Town, a group of resource economists was looking at how cities can lower their energy and water use. (Photo by Andreas Tusche, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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