Germany’s transportation sector has been called a “problem child” by Merkel. The problems are no joke, says Paul Hockenos: ten cyclists died in Berlin this year so far. Where’s the low-carbon, sustainable metropolis we were promised?
Tine Langkamp describes the German wing of the international divestment movement: which states plan to divest and what their approach to divestment looks like. It also shows where the gaps are and what still needs to be done to achieve success.
Although the Wall Street Journal has called the German energy transition a “fiasco,” Javier López Prol argues that renewables are clearly a success. Fossil fuels only seem cheaper as they externalize costs onto the environment, and that higher electricity costs are not the economic catastrophe that critics claim.
Berliners go to the polls this Sunday (Nov. 3). But it’s not to elect a new parliament or chancellor – or even a municipal administration. Rather there’s a city-wide referendum about energy, namely of putting the transmission grid into citizens’ hands and founding a clean energy-minded municipal utility in Berlin.
Germany has an “energy-only” power market, meaning that all payments are based on the kilowatt-hour. If a plant does not run much, it earns less – and gas turbines are suffering the most. But as Craig Morris points out, Germany is a bit of an exception within the EU – for how much longer?
A Berlin citizens’ group wants to wrest control of the city’s electricity grid in order to promote renewable energy. They accuse current operator Vattenfall of failing to seek alternatives to fossil fuels. Louise Osborne met the activists.