With the ink barely dry on Germany’s Coal Commission report recommending a phase out by 2038, the oil and gas industry is breaking out the champagne. While environmentalists criticize the plan’s particulars, the other side is celebrating the slaying of their strongest competitor. And they’re translating that joy into furious lobbying aimed at ensuring that renewables don’t fill the majority of the void as coal plants are shuttered. L. Michael Buchsbaum explains.
On February 13th, the Colombian Constitutional Court decided to abolish local referendums on land use in Colombia. Kathrin Meyer elaborates on the consequences of this development and whether the international community should act.
Legally all former coal fields have to be cleaned up or reclaimed following the end of mining activities. While most former surface sites in Germany are flooded, more sold coal sites are being redeveloped as renewable energy sources. L. Michael Buchsbaum talks to developers to see how it works.
South Africa’s electricity sector has emerged from a turbulent decade that has been tarnished by corruption and mismanagement. Vested political interests within the electricity industry here could still be locking the continent’s biggest carbon emitter on its current course as one of the dirtiest and most energy-intensive economies in the world, writes Leonie Joubert.
The German Coal Commission has recommended that all coal be phased out by 2038. But this trajectory won’t be quick enough to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, says L. Michael Buchsbaum.
RWE is digging the biggest hole in Europe for dirty lignite – and they don’t have a working plan to deal with the consequences, says L. Michael Buchsbaum.
The success of the energy transition in the Western Balkans and Ukraine is a question of political will in those countries. But the EU can help set up the conditions for a successful modernization, writes Robert Sperfeld.
At the end of January, the Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment, aka, the Coal Commission, finally released its 336-page report. Filled with economic observations and recommendations, it sets an end date of 2038 for Germany to close its last coal-fired power plant. L. Michael Buchsbaum reveals the most important facts of the report.
Governments may be looking the other way, but rising carbon prices and stricter EU regulations are sounding the death knell for the region’s lignite fired power plants, Martin Vladimirov explains.
There will be no new coal plants built in the US, and existing ones are coming under pressure from renewables. Energy utilities are switching to wind power instead: Xcel Energy has promised to use 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. L. Michael Buchsbaum goes in-depth.