As 2014 draws to a close, the holidays provide the opportunity to look back on the year and thank you for your continued interest in our work. Rebecca Bertram summarizes the discussions and changes for the Energiewende in 2014.
It has been a turbulent year for the Energiewende. From challenges, such as the retail power price discussions and Germany’s coal conundrum, to the recent reforms of Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the Energiewende currently finds itself in a phase of further optimization. And more needs to be done to achieve greater energy efficiency. Calls for a smarter electricity infrastructure, the need for more flexible and clean backup power, and the transformation of the German energy transition into a European one will drive the discussions in 2015.
But 2014 has also marked some important Energiewende achievements. Electricity prices for industry continued to fall and saw their lowest level in 2014, and with 28 percent renewable energies in the power sector, Germany’s grid is now more stable than ever. Other important technological breakthroughs were also achieved: the small Bavarian town of Wildpoldsried became an important testing ground for smart grid technologies, and the world’s longest superconductor was put into operation in the West German town of Essen, to name a few.
This year we also began focusing more on what other countries are doing to push their energy transitions at home. For example, we looked at Italy’s success story, coal wars in Poland, and asked how realistic an energy transition is in Russia. We compared the municipalization efforts in Boulder and Hamburg, we asked how the BRICS countries view the Energiewende, and what France could learn from Germany and the UK.
We look forward to staying engaged with you with more exciting energy transition stories to come in 2015.
With best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year,