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Is Europe burning America’s forests?

15 Sep 2014   by   Comments (1)

A recent article at Grist.com under this subtitle “biomass backward” charges that “the European Union and its well-intentioned clean energy rules” are the reason for “denuded fields in the South.” Craig Morris, himself a Southerner, says something about the situation certainly is backward. But he says progress will require a deal between the US and the EU.

Wood Pellets are a green heating choice - if sourced locally and sustainably.

Wood Pellets can be a green heating choice – if sourced locally and sustainably. (Photo by Amaza, CC0 1.0)

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CEE nuclear folly

10 Sep 2014   by   Comments (0)

Politicians from Central and Eastern Europe use wrong assumptions to justify new nuclear power in their region. They base their pro nuclear stance on an expected significant increase in domestic power demand and increasing wholesale prices. Jan Ondrich reports.

Temelin

To make nuclear look like a sensible option, the Czech government resorts to unrealistic assumptions about the future of its power market.

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It’s the costs, stupid. Therefore, opt for renewables!

09 Sep 2014   by editor   Comments (1)

In the coming months, the EU will decide on its future energy mix and the role of renewables. So far, the outlook is bleak. Silvia Brugger explains why the EU should opt for a much more ambitious program: Renewables are cheaper and reduce Europe’s foreign energy dependence.

European PV Flag

Should be a no-brainer: The EU needs ambitious goals for renewables. (Original Photo by Georg Slickers, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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Renewables K.O.-ed by EROI?

08 Sep 2014   by   Comments (3)

If it takes too much energy to make generators of renewable energy relative to what these units produce, the energy transition will not be possible. A new study by nuclear researchers finds that the need for storage and backup makes the EROI of renewables too low. Craig Morris investigates.

Wasserkraftwerk am Inn

King of renewables: Hydro power is the most efficient power source in terms of energy payback. (Photo by Rufus46, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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A Polish appetite for biomass

04 Sep 2014   by   Comments (1)

In order to greenwash its coal power plants and fulfill EU requirements, Poland co-fires biomass with coal. While this is a phenomenon common in many European countries, Michał Olszewski argues that it does not make sense for the environment and helps coal companies.

Cofiring biomass - greenwashing coal? (Photo by Chris Allen, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Co-firing biomass – greenwashing coal? (Photo by Chris Allen, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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How Eurosolar would have amended the EEG

03 Sep 2014   by   Comments (0)

In January, Eurosolar produced a memorandum during the debate about changes to German energy policy. Craig Morris says the discrepancies and overlapping between the memorandum and what actually became law in August shows where there is disagreement and general consensus.

Alpha Ventus

Offshore wind power continues to be oversubsidized – one of the things Eurosolar criticized during negotiations for the current EEG. (Photo by Martina Nolte, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

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German Audit Office says Energiewende too expensive

01 Sep 2014   by   Comments (1)

In August, the Bundesrechnungshof (BRH), which reviews the federal government’s finances, found that the Energiewende is proceeding without proper coordination. Up to now, there have only been press reports about leaked versions of the paper, which has yet to be made public. Craig Morris reviews what we know.

(Photo by Eckhard Henkel, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

The German Bundesrechnungshof says the Energiewende is too expensive – but does not make many suggestions on how to make it cheaper. (Photo by Eckhard Henkel, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

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German government willing participant in Energiewende

28 Aug 2014   by   Comments (5)

A recent Time article entitled “Germans happily pay more for renewable energy. But would others?” has a refreshing focus but makes obvious mistakes. Craig Morris says it also shows how hard a time the Anglo world has properly understanding the Energiewende.

Germans continue to support the Energiewende, because its benefits are spread democratically. (Photo by  Rudolpho Duba  / pixelio.de)

Germans continue to support the Energiewende, because its benefits are spread democratically. (Photo by Rudolpho Duba / pixelio.de)

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German exports of renewable technology

27 Aug 2014   by   Comments (0)

One of the reasons to be a first mover is technological leadership. Germany is recognized as such a first mover in wind power, biomass, and solar. New data reveal the extent to which Germany has succeeded, as Craig Morris explains.

Container Terminal Hamburg

The majority of renewable technology produced in Germany is exported. In the photo: Container Terminal in Hamburg. (Photo by Tobias Mandt, CC BY 2.0)

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German grid more stable in 2013

25 Aug 2014   by   Comments (3)

It’s bad news for the folks insisting that renewables are wreaking havoc on the grid – last year, the average number of minutes of power outages in Germany fell below the already leading level of 2012 and below the average over the past seven years. Craig Morris looks into the situation.

Grid and Wind Power

Even though critics often paint scary scenarios, growth in renewable energy and grid stability are no opposites at all. (Photo by David Iliff, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

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