There are some contradictions about the US nuclear power industry which have rich potential for creating confusion among citizens, the press, and elected officials. For instance, nuclear power is cheap to operate, but wickedly expensive to build and repair. Ben Paulos takes a look.
For decades, the Danes have been an inspiration to and role model for German and independent proponents. But the story of what they specifically get right is not well understood in the English-speaking world. Now, American journalist Justin Gerdes has filled that gap with a short Kindle book. Craig Morris says it’s a must-read.
It seemed we had left behind the major conflicts in the transition from the old energy world of fossil fuels and nuclear to that of renewable energies. It seemed there is an an all-party consensus on the energy revolution in Germany. But civic demand for rapid decarbonisation is revealing open lines of conflict in the Energiewende. Sebastian Helgenberger explains.
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.
Germany completed its fourth round of auctions for ground-mounted photovoltaics this month, and the government is pleased with the outcome in light of the continued falling prices. The Undersecretary in Germany’s Energy Ministry also speaks of “intense competition” as a positive outcome. The other side of that coin is a lot of losing bids – not to mention those who didn’t bother to take part. Craig Morris explains.
How can public acceptance of utility projects be increased? Policymakers want to allow citizens to invest in such projects, but the focus is insufficient. Citizens want more than just financial benefits. By Craig Morris.
Germany’s Energiewende has been driven first and foremost by citizens and communities. Steve Baragona visited a small community threatened by an open-pit coal mine in Eastern Germany and found that the local struggles reflect the broader battle that is currently underway for the future of the German power system.
In Mexico, wind power could play a central role in the country’s future power mix. Unfortuantely, the technocratic top-down approach chosen by the country in order to deploy the technology has lowered social acceptance. Juan Mayorga suggests to look to Germany for a different, more democratic model of wind power development that takes local stakeholders seriously and allows local financial participation.
People who want to change the world need to understand why some campaigns are successful while others aren’t. One US commentator has investigated the Keystone campaign’s success in this respect. The overlapping with the German nuclear phase-out is salient. By Craig Morris.
Some foreign onlookers predict that Volkswagen’s emissions fraud will discredit German climate efforts. German climate campaigners see the event as an opportunity to bring the energy transition to the transport sector, as Craig Morris writes.