Soaring energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fears of a cold winter, energy shortages and a looming recession in Germany are causing much handwringing. Long dependent on cheap Russian gas, Germany’s crucial industrial sector is warning of blackouts and lasting economic damage if enough replacement fuel isn’t found. After months of partisan bickering between members of his coalition government, Chancellor Scholz decided to authorize the extended run time of the nation’s three remaining nuclear power plants until mid-April 2023, postponing their long planned, legally binding December 31st 2022 expiration date. In the first of two pieces, lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum takes us through the debate.
The huge tourist crush this summer in the Alps shows that sustainable tourism has to mean more than just going local. There is a wealth of innovative ideas for making tourism softer on the environment and climate. Rather than just complain about the glut, localities have to insist upon these sometimes prohibitive measures – even if it means turning customers away. Paul Hockenos has the story.
Long renewable energy’s black sheep, this multitasking energy source has a bright future but only if geothermal developers can dispel the myths around it while lowering the risks to development. While wind and solar continue to gain in popularity, a new project in Bavaria is showing that heat from the Earth’s core can lead the way. Paul Hockenos shows us how.
In Bavaria’s recent election (October 14), observers watched agape as the Greens took nearly 18 percent of the vote – a record high for the little environmental party in the conservatively minded state.
Concerns about the cost impact of Germany’s energy transition now include the grid fee. The German Network Agency has clamped down on profit margins for grid operators. Craig Morris weighs in on the debate over whether all these grid lines are needed.
Last Wednesday, the German cabinet finalized the details of what will become known as the EEG 2016. An astonishingly wide range of commenters agree on one thing: it’s bad. By Craig Morris.
Up to now, public support for wind power has been very strong in Germany. But recent changes to German law have encouraged local groups that oppose wind farms. The relegation of competence from the national to the state level means that smaller groups have a larger impact. Craig Morris explains.
The plan to implement a sort of national carbon emissions trading scheme specifically to clamp down on electricity from lignite is now officially dead. Last night, the German government adopted a different plan with a broader focus. Aside from the coal sector, no one seems to like it. Craig Morris investigates.
And then there were eight… This weekend, the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant in northern Bavaria will shut down permanently. It is the first nuclear plant to close since 2011.
The southeastern German state of Bavaria is arguably not much of a team player in the Energiewende. The state government does not want wind turbines, and opposition to new power lines ostensibly to bring in wind power from the north is fiercest among Bavarians. One proposal to fill the power gap is gas turbines. Craig Morris points out a few reasons why the strategy seems unrealistic.