This spring Germany’s three-party coalition government announced plans to introduce a discounted €9 nationwide public transportation travel pass for the summer months. Intended as a way to cushion the blows of rising inflation, high energy and living costs while reducing fossil fuels usage and emissions, at least 21 million tickets were sold between May, when the ticket became available, and July. Sales figures and passenger numbers surpassed industry expectations and data shows that highway traffic congestion nationwide is easing. But despite its obvious success, Berlin is poised to not extend the offer beyond August, prompting fears that rail travel costs will jump, highway traffic jams will lengthen as Germany squanders another opportunity to show real leadership. Lead blogger, podcaster and frequent rail passenger, Michael Buchsbaum, reviews the situation.
In 2022, Germany set ambitious goals renewable energy, raising its share of gross electricity consumption up to 80 percent by 2030. In this context, the German government has adopted a policy to promote energy systems on agricultural land and focusing, in particular, on solar energy production. Many questions remain but agrovoltaic systems could serve as a useful tool to boost both the national and European energy transition. Leona Schmitt scans the detail.
Boosting renewable production is essential amid the bid to curtail Europe’s dependency on Russian energy sources. Wind energy in particular is a key plank of Germany’s Energiewende, and there remains untapped potential in onshore and offshore energy production. But how can we boost offshore expansion while preserving delicate marine environments? Leona Schmitt takes a closer look.
In an interview, one of Germany’s foremost energy conservation experts, Stefan M. Büttner, says that companies can save energy and production costs more easily than they think.
The war in Ukraine reveals the consequences of Germany’s fossil fuel dependency on Putin’s regime in a brutal way. The international voices to cut these fossil ties are growing by the day. Many oil and gas producing companies – such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil – have already pulled out of Russia. However, Germany’s largest oil and gas company, Wintershall Dea, is still reluctant to follow these examples. Andy Gheorghiu gives a brief overview about Wintershall’s history and explains how its deep-rooted ties with state-controlled Gazprom – including its Nord Stream projects partnerships and a swap-asset deal that hand-delivered Germany’s largest gas storage to Putin – have also deepened Germany’s dependence on Russia.
On April 4, 2022, the IPCC published he third part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Referring to the findings and key results, UN General Secretary António Guterres said that “investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness” while also outlining that “such investments will soon become stranded assets”. In this blog post, Andy Gheorghiu explains why new LNG terminals in Germany are not an exception – even after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has revealed the dependency of Europe on Russian gas. For a long time, gas has been touted as a bridge fuel. Now it turns out that gas is not only a significant contributor to the climate crisis but also a fuel to co-finance Putin’s war machine. A fast phase-out of fossil gas is inevitable, but some think that liquefied natural gas (LNG) will help the EU get rid of the Russian dependency. In this blog series, Andy Gheorghiu describes the situation in Germany and explains why the proposed LNG terminals are a climate disaster and risk to deepen the fossil dependency.
An ad hoc statement issued by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina on March 8, 2022, argues that Germany could pull it off – without nuclear power. Paul Hockenos explains.
New studies are sanguine about emissions-free and carbon neutral aviation in the near(ish) future. But rosy projections meet with justified scepticism from environmentalists. Ultimately, we’re going to have to fly less, no matter how you look at it. Paul Hockenos has the details.
In the circular economy, energy conservation is implicit in the closing of the material resource loop – and critical to a new economy that can help Germany hit net zero. A Germany initiative shows in detail how Germany can adopt a no-waste economy that saves material resources, cuts emissions, and decreases energy consumption. Paul Hockenos had a closer look at this Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany.