Author: Paul Hockenos

Paul Hockenos

Paul Hockenos is a Berlin-based journalist and author of Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall and the Birth of the New Berlin.

In the Balkans, clean energy needn’t have a dark side

The global transition to clean energy is upending markets, social structures, laws, and much more that falls outside of the traditional energy sector. Since we’re all relatively new at it, it’s critical that we keep a close eye on the biproducts and unintended consequences of climate protection – in order to tweak and reform when necessary. Paul Hockenos takes a look at how dams in the Balkans, while renewable, are anti-environmental.

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Will Freiburg go even greener?

Green cities aren’t just good for the environment – they’re good for the people who live in them. Freiburg, Germany has a great quality of life with its parks, public transit and clean air. But will the city keep pushing environmentalism or rest on its laurels? Paul Hockenos takes a look.

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Springer Without Borders

Media conglomerate Axel Springer AG is known in Germany for its populist and archconservative tone. What most don’t know is the degree to which it also owns publications across Central Europe – in which it spreads deep-seated skepticism of Germany’s energy transition, remarks Paul Hockenos.

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Achieving Energy Independence from Russia

Can the Ukraine crisis force Germany to backtrack on the Energiewende? No, regardless of Poland’s off-the-cuff critique. But it’s fueling anew the debate in Germany over supply security. Renewables could go a long way toward bolstering Germany’s energy security vis-à-vis Russia, while energy-saving measures could be the true clincher.

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Paying the Gas Piper

The Baltic states, overwhelmingly dependent upon Russian energy supplies, experience most directly the high costs of their neighbor’s political pressure on the EU. Paul Hockenos wonders if diversification including renewables could provide these countries some relief.

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Greening the Heartlands of Coal in Europe

Germany’s Energiewende has also impacted Poland and the Czech Republic, but these effects are rarely discussed or well-understood by German lawmakers. EU-wide energy policies are needed in order to ensure that Germany’s transition to renewables is permanent, sustainable, and fair to its neighbors.

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Seehofer Shifts on Südlink

CSU party leader and Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer’s sudden about-face on Südlink, the planned long-distance transmission corridor for renewable energy running through his state, is little more than political pandering to cosmetic concerns without accounting for long-term needs.

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Transition Beyond Goals

Innovative policies, including higher contributions from industry, home energy efficiency improvements, and consumer awareness of price differences between suppliers, are called for to help Germans lower energy prices during the switch to renewables, argues Paul Hockenos.

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