the energiewende blog
We need to leave carbon in the ground. Yet, carbon emissions are counted at the source of consumption, not the source of extraction. Craig Morris says the different approach would put countries like Scotland, Norway, and Denmark in a much different light.
Over the Easter break, French daily Le Monde reported that an official study for a conference to be held last week was being held back. The energy experts investigated a 100 percent renewable supply of electricity by 2050. Craig Morris got hold of a copy, which still lacks an executive summary. So he wrote one.
The UK and Germany like to think of themselves as climate leaders. But how does their progress in cutting carbon stack up against the US, which has famously failed to pass climate laws? The Carbon Brief’s Simon Evans reports.
The southeastern German state of Bavaria is arguably not much of a team player in the Energiewende. The state government does not want wind turbines, and opposition to new power lines ostensibly to bring in wind power from the north is fiercest among Bavarians. One proposal to fill the power gap is gas turbines. Craig Morris points out a few reasons why the strategy seems unrealistic.
Siemens spent half a billion euros developing the most efficient gas turbine in the world. Last year, it sold no electricity at all, but was only used to stabilize the grid. Now, the unit is to be taken off the market and put into standby reserve next year. Craig Morris says the story shows how important it is not to confuse engineers with policymakers.
Two weeks ago, the German government sent its bill for shale gas production to Parliament for approval. And once again, we read both that Germany has banned and approved fracking. Craig Morris explains what is really going on.
To many people, both inside and outside Germany, the Energiewende seems special. Questions therefore often focus on where the Germans got the idea. Craig Morris says they stole it from an American.
The results of the survey published in German in February were made available in English (PDF) last month. They show overwhelming international skepticism towards the German Energiewende. Craig Morris says the findings are in line with the WEC’s tradition of skepticism towards renewables. And a comparison of previous WEC surveys on the Energiewende is illustrative.
Germany aims to reduce its energy consumption by 50 percent by 2050 relative to 2005. It sounds like a fanciful target, especially if the country continues to grow economically. But in reality, Craig Morris says, there are two simple steps to this goal, which do not seem so magical once you know them.
One of Germany’s political foundations, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, has produced a video in English explaining the term “energy democracy” to North Americans. It was made in cooperation with labor unions and thus focuses on job creation. Craig Morris likes the presentation but fears some main points might not be highlighted enough.