the energiewende blog
In August, the fifth of five nuclear plants in Switzerland went off-line, but only for two days. There were no blackouts. Craig Morris investigates.
The summer is drawing to a close in Europe, and it was one of the hottest ever. Thermal power plants (coal and nuclear) had to ramp down production in numerous countries due to a lack of cooling water, but the heat also affected solar power production. Craig Morris reports.
Billionaire Bill Gates claimed this summer that breakthroughs are needed for the energy transition and that funding should be diverted from current technologies towards R&D. Craig Morris wonders what would have become of Microsoft if we had waited for Ultrabooks before buying computers.
French think tank négaWatt published a study back in 2011 investigating how the country could switch almost completely to renewable energy. Now, the analysis and an overview of charts has been made available in English. Craig Morris investigates.
Over the weekend, protesters entered coalfields outside of Cologne as a part of the Ende Gelände campaign (loosely translated: “terminal terrain”). The goal is to “keep coal in the ground.” Craig Morris wonders if the event, which unfortunately became violent, is the beginning of a successful divestment movement.
In the first half of 2015, more offshore wind power capacity was added in Germany than the country previously had. The government is reportedly considering raising its target for 2020. Craig Morris explains.
Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power is fundamentally sensible from an economic perspective
Germany has made a formal commitment to phase out the use of nuclear power by 2022. Erik Gawel and Sebastian Strunz write on the implications of the strategy for Germany’s future energy mix and whether the approach adopted in the country could function as a model for other European states. They argue that while the target is undeniably challenging, long-term it is both economically sensible and feasible to phase out both fossil fuels and nuclear energy in favour of renewables.
German think tank Agora Energiewende has produced a paper showing the lack of transparency for grid data. Proponents of distributed renewable energy have complained for years that they cannot verify the need for new grid lines. Craig Morris explains.
German retail power rates are high, but industry electricity prices are low. A recent comparison of countries bordering the Netherlands reveals what an outlier Germany is. Craig Morris investigates.
As a part of our annual update, we have created a few new charts and updated some old ones. The Energiewende story has also been updated to reflect the latest data and policy developments from 2014. Craig Morris focuses on a single chart today. Since October, the underlying analysis could have been updated, but – tellingly – no one has seen fit to do so.