Nowhere in the EU is smog more suffocating than in southern Poland. This year, the polluted Polish mining city Katowice will host the COP24 climate conference. Ahead of that, change is in the air — and on the ground. Richard Fuchs takes a look.
Michał Olszewski has long written about the Polish conservative government trying (and failing) to bail out coal, and maintain energy independence. But these expensive and polluting practices could be coming to an end. Slowly but surely, the energy transition emerges in Poland.
French President Macron has proposed closer cooperation with Germany to strengthen the EU. One aspect is higher carbon prices – between 25 and 30 euros per ton of CO2. Craig Morris explains what impact different prices would have on Germany’s energy system.
The majority of Kosovo’s energy comes from lignite, and a new plant is being planned (despite potential problems with the European Union). Communities must invest in renewables, which can help revitalize local economies, increase democratic participation, and improve the environment. Jasminka Young explains.
The president and the parliamentary majority have recently taken two decisions that will significantly influence the development of the renewable energy industry in Poland. Although at the outset these legal changes seemed promising, their consequences now appear bound to be negative. Michał Olszewski explains.
In the first half of 2016, 36.4 percent of the electricity produced in Germany was renewable according to preliminary data. The target for 2020 is only 35 percent – and that figure does not include power exports. Renewables seem to be cutting into both coal power and nuclear; gas is up. Craig Morris explains.
The Greek energy system is still relaying to a large extent on lignite power plants. Apart from the known negative impacts on public health, an increasing number of proposed projects will have a negative return on investment. Tasos Krommydas reports.
Over the weekend, protesters entered coalfields outside of Cologne as a part of the Ende Gelände campaign (loosely translated: “terminal terrain”). The goal is to “keep coal in the ground.” Craig Morris wonders if the event, which unfortunately became violent, is the beginning of a successful divestment movement.
The German government wants to limit emissions from coal plants that are more than 20 years old. Why the age demarcation? Why not just limit total emissions – or phase out coal entirely? Craig Morris says some clever Realpolitik is behind it. Best of all, it’s working.