Last week, German media reported that the shutdown of a reactor in Fessenheim, France, should have been classified at a level of greater danger. While the German media focus on the event itself, French media have turned the issue into a “he said, she said” dispute. The coverage reveals the tradition of transparency in Germany – and the lack thereof in France. By Craig Morris.
A recent editorial at Reuters charged that German nuclear policy is uncoordinated, particularly because the cost of nuclear waste disposal is still unclear. In reality, Merkel’s 2011 phase-out was a return to a former plan only briefly abandoned. And Germany’s phase-out budget looks pretty good internationally. Craig Morris explains.
If you are active on Twitter among the energy and climate geeks like Arne Jungjohann, you run across international coverage on Germany’s energy transition almost every day. Arne takes a thorough look at the international perceptions of the Energiewende.
Germany has made a formal commitment to phase out the use of nuclear power by 2022. Erik Gawel and Sebastian Strunz write on the implications of the strategy for Germany’s future energy mix and whether the approach adopted in the country could function as a model for other European states. They argue that while the target is undeniably challenging, long-term it is both economically sensible and feasible to phase out both fossil fuels and nuclear energy in favour of renewables.
Foreign observers sometimes think that the German feed-in tariff is a subsidy that comes out of the federal budget. In reality, it’s a levy that helps to raise revenue for communities and a model that should be copied, as R. Andreas Kraemer points out.
The results of the survey published in German in February were made available in English (PDF) last month. They show overwhelming international skepticism towards the German Energiewende. Craig Morris says the findings are in line with the WEC’s tradition of skepticism towards renewables. And a comparison of previous WEC surveys on the Energiewende is illustrative.
This week, renewable energy experts, community leaders and local governments from all over the world meet in Kassel to discuss experiences and strategies to reach so-called 100% renewable energy regions. Anna Leidreiter reports.
When the Fukushima accident happened, both Japan and Germany were highly dependent on nuclear power. Whereas Germany has sped up its Energiewende ever since, Japanese politics have remained captured by the interest of utilities. Amory Lovins compares the political effects of the nuclear accident on both countries and debunks some myths around the outcomes of Germany’s energy transition along the way.
A giant German wind farm planning firm recently filed for bankruptcy, and the event made headlines. Craig Morris says the press coverage does not always clearly explain the difference between feed-in tariffs and “Genussrechte,” something that does not exist in English but could be translated as “participatory rights.” The event makes him think of an old Jimmy Stewart movie.
As Germany’s Energiewende proceeds, it faces new challenges that the new grand coalition will have to deal with. Paul Hockenos takes a look at the next steps for Germany’s clean energy shift.