The Trump administration has claimed that renewables threaten grid stability. Then why, ask David Hochschild and David Olsen, has the US military an early adapter of renewables? And why does Germany have a more reliable grid than the US?
What can be done when it is dark (no solar power) and there is no wind either, but power demand is high? German analysts took a look at the worst combination in recent history – from 2006 – and found a way to bridge the gap. But is it affordable? Craig Morris’ main takeaway: The Germans know the Energiewende’s weak spot, and they have modeled it, modeled it, modeled it.
Germany’s G20 presidency dramatically weakened a climate action plan, gutting it of ambitious language and defining gas, and potentially even some coal power, as “clean technologies”, in an attempt to appeal to US president Donald Trump. Arthur Nelsen of Climate Home Europe takes a look.
German parliamentary elections are coming up this fall, and the German Green Party has adopted a plan for 100% electric vehicles by 2030 for new car sales. But one leader of the party remains skeptical. His criticism showed that we have to get our heads around how fundamentally different electric cars will be. Craig Morris looks at the debate.
In the US, a debate on “deep decarbonization” is raging: going nearly zero-carbon in energy supply. Journalist David Roberts says we will need “dispatchable” nuclear. Via Twitter, he told readers that, to refute his argument, people need to move beyond their anti-nuke rant and show that we won’t need “dispatchable nuclear.” Craig Morris has a different take: Roberts needs to define “dispatchable.”
Lots has been said about Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris Accord, but have we overlooked one factor: like-minded politicians abroad feeling encouraged to speak up? Judging from German events, opponents of the Paris agreement are coming out of hiding. As the Germans would say, Trump is making skepticism salonfähig: literally, “suitable for the salon” – something that can be talked about in polite company. Craig Morris explains.
On Sunday, 58 percent of the Swiss voted for the proposed Energy Strategy 2050. Starting in 2018, when the law takes effect, Switzerland will begin a nuclear phaseout and a transition to renewables – although the country already has nearly carbon-free electricity supply. Craig Morris takes a look.
We’ve talked before about the European Union’s efforts to deliver clean energy for all Europeans, and the fact that Germany’s energy transition will need Europe to be successful. But how will that cooperation look in practice? Today, Rebecca Bertram discusses a recent report about how German policymakers can shape the European energy debate.
While Americans chose to curtail wind and solar rather than conventional energy, the Germans say baseload plants (coal and nuclear) are the problem. That’s because the matter isn’t simply technical, though it is described as such. It’s mainly political. Craig Morris explains.
Over the long weekend of April 30 to May 1 (International Labor Day), low power demand joined forces with strong wind and solar power production. As a result, coal power in Germany hit a record low. But by focusing on coal, we might be missing the big story: the country’s nuclear fleet may have ramped more than any in history.