Vattenfall has failed to find a buyer for its coal assets in Germany. The focus is now on alternative models, such as a fund to protect workers. Craig Morris explains.
The restructuring of the energy system in one of the world’s leading industrialized nations is undoubtedly a highly ambitious undertaking. There is no blueprint for this energy transition that would offer a simple step-by-step procedure to follow. In that sense, the Energiewende is an open learning process and pilot project at the same time, one that is being observed internationally with a mixture of hope and skepticism. However, there is one thing that the German energy transition is certainly not: an island of its own that isolates Germany’s energy economy. On the contrary, a quick overview of the world’s state of affairs with regard to energy shows that the global energy transition is now picking up speed, as Ralf Fücks points out.
Germany’s grid expansion between north and south has caused a lot of controversy. Instead of building new power lines, the Energiewende should embrace smart solutions in form of demand-side management and by building renewables close to the largest power consumers in the south, argues Andreas Kraemer.
Last week, the Czech government proposed a bill, which is now to be reviewed in Parliament. The renewables community is speaking of a step in the right direction, but the battle is still uphill, as a sociologist explained at a conference our Craig Morris attended.
In many countries, solar energy is enjoying great success – photovoltaic modules are increasingly affordable and available to those interested in producing their own electricity. In the Czech Republic, however, those investing in and building solar power stations must constantly resist efforts by the government to destabilise the business environment, as Martin Sedlák explains.
Politicians from Central and Eastern Europe use wrong assumptions to justify new nuclear power in their region. They base their pro nuclear stance on an expected significant increase in domestic power demand and increasing wholesale prices. Jan Ondrich reports.
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.
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.