The Energiewende continues to evolve, not only with new data, but also with new legislation and new topics. Last month, this website therefore received its first overhaul. Over the next few weeks, we would like to draw your attention to a few of the changes.
In some cases, data were merely updated. One interesting example was the forecast for wind power. This website originally went online in the fall of 2012, but we began creating it in April 2012. In the middle of that year, we wrote:
Americans would have to install nearly 20 gigawatts of wind turbines each year to keep up with Germany’s performance in terms of power demand. Unfortunately, the US has never come close to reaching that level, having peaked at just over 10 gigawatts in 2009. In 2012, the US market is likely to come in far below that level.
But the joke was on us – the US posted a record 13 GW of new wind power in 2012, as we learned a few months after the website went live. Unfortunately, as so often in the US, the growth was an unsustainable one-off effect. The US market rushed to complete all of its projects by the end of the year because a tax credit was to expire. The US market collapsed entirely in the first half of 2013, installing a mere 1.6 megawatts (not gigawatts) – probably a single turbine!
This website consists of two main parts: the dynamic blog (which you are reading now) added in 2013, and the original website, which is available as an e-book (PDF, epub, and mobi) for free. The blog is not, however, included in the e-book, though we do add some crucial matters from the blog to the e-book. For instance, the role of shale gas is a new hot topic; we covered it here in the blog in January, and that post was added to our Q&A section of the e-book as well.
One thing we did not deal with in great detail is the current proposals for amendments to the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG). We know, for instance, that the government has replaced the old “at least” targets with “growth corridors“; follow that link for a chart showing the new proposed targets in German. But none of this has officially become law yet. So our chart of the targets (above) still reflects those legally applicable today.
At the beginning of April, the German government will meet for an intensive round of negotiations on energy policy, which should produce some more details. The plan is to have some amendments adopted by the summer 2014. But fierce negotiations will ensue, such as for capacity markets and the attempt to charge a fee for both renewable and conventional power consumed directly.
We will report on these events in the blog as they happen, and at the end of 2014 the next round of updates to the e-book is planned. By that time, we should know which ideas became law, which were watered down, and which were postponed. In my next post, I draw your attention to some of our new charts.