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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every October, a public outcry over financial support for renewables occurs in Germany. What is mostly forgotten: Fossil fuels and nuclear still receive much higher subsidies, as Matthias Ruchser explains.