Author: Matthias Ruchser

Matthias Ruchser is a communication and marketing specialist with a long-standing record working on energy and climate topics. He is a member of the ‘Alumni Advisory Board’ of the Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network (ELEEP) and has participated in the international leadership training programs ‘Managing Global Governance’ (MGG) and ‘International Futures’ (IF). He regularly publishes on topics related to the German ‘Energiewende’, renewable energy sources, sustainable energy, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change.

Energy – the seventh Sustainable Development Goal

The UN will include “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy” in their post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDG). Matthias Ruchser explains the concepts and takes a look at what Germany needs to do in the coming years to fulfill the goal, namely turning its electricity transition into a holistic energy transition.

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Where is the energy transition headed in 2015?

In an overall successful year 2014, the German Energiewende saw a lot of changes. 2015 will be characterized by international developments like falling fossil fuel prices. To keep the Energiewende on track, Matthias Ruchser demands to finally tap potentials in the heating and transport sector.

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We need a European energy transition

The Ukrainian crisis of the last months has called Europe’s strategic dependency on Russian energy imports into question. According to Matthias Ruchser, there can be only one future-proof answer to the current dilemma, which will decarbonise Europe while also increasing energy independency: A European energy transition.

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Russia and the Energiewende – is there a connection?

Following the Russian incorporation of the Crimea the West has imposed sanctions on the Russian banking sector as well as on Russian and Ukrainian individuals with close contacts to the Putin regime. In spite of these somewhat symbolic sanctions, the first effects are already apparent: capital is flowing out of Russia and planned European investments in the country are being put on hold. Matthias Ruchser from the German Development Institute examines how recent divergences between the West and Russia might impact the energy transition in Germany and Europe.

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Energy subsidies – Less is more

Cut support for renewables? Sure, but why not start with fossil fuel subsidies that amounted to US$ 544 billion in 2012? While the German Renewable Energy Act will need to be reformed, the fundamental issue of creating a level playing field for renewables remains challenging in an environment where fossil fuels are highly subsidized, argues Matthias Ruchser.

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