Despite the fact that in the sunniest region of Europe there is a vast potential of energy from the sun (and wind), renewable energy is a resource that is being ignored. In a time when Southern European countries are struggling with debt and stagnating economies, clean renewable energy solutions can be a smart way to go. Expert studies commissioned by Greenpeace Croatia, Greece, Italy and Spain show how the Southern European governments can boost their economies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate their energy transition by enabling massive small-scale investments into renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions. Dejan Savic summarizes the findings.
While the world celebrates unprecedented renewable capacity additions, there are clear signs that this growth stops for wind and solar at a small share of the market. Italy and Spain are perfect examples for this, explains Craig Morris.
In recent years, the increasing competitiveness of wind and solar power has been widely hailed. But there is a cloud to this silver lining – power production does not match power demand. As a result, the actual value of wind and solar power will decrease as we get more of it. Craig Morris says policymakers should pay attention.
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.
E.ON, one of Germany’s two biggest power providers, announced over the weekend that it plans to sell its conventional power plants and focus on renewables, the grid, and “customer solutions.” Craig Morris says the real message has been overlooked.
Over the past few years, Italy has made tremendous progress with renewables. In fact, despite all the differences, the similarities with Germany are striking, both in terms of progress and obstacles. Craig Morris spoke with Giuseppe Onufrio, head of Greenpeace Italy.
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) says angst is a main driver behind the Energiewende, which will fail to reduce emissions without shale gas, especially without nuclear. Craig Morris says some critics sound like they are a bit afraid themselves – that the Germans might pull off their transition without fracking or nuclear.
The EU’s member states are losing their global leadership on renewables because of hasty and contradictory policy changes. Gavin Purchas and Eric Gimon argue that the world can learn from their mistakes: Predictable support for renewable energies, which is in line with cost reductions, is key for the succesful deployment of renewable energies.
On May 1, the entire editorial board at the New York Times published an article revealing an astonishing unfamiliarity with easily accessible facts. The NYT argues that Germany’s energy transition proves that the world needs nuclear. Craig Morris explains.
Could the Balkans export renewable energy to mainland Europe in the near future? Paul Hockenos investigates if western European investment and the resources of South Eastern Europe would create a win-win situation for everyone involved.