On Sunday, Germans will vote for a new parliament. Despite recent floods in the Caribbean and the Southeast Asia, climate change and the Energiewende did not take center stage. So what are Germans concerned about, and how will Germany’s energy transition fare under the most likely coalitions? Craig Morris investigates.
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 December 6, Germany’s highest court handed down a mixed ruling that practically everyone is interpreting as confirmation of their original position. The ruling provides clarity but does not put the issue to rest for good. By Craig Morris.
The amount reported as the cost of renewable electricity has nearly reached seven cents per kilowatt-hour, almost as much as the lowest retail rates in the United States. Yet, the main price driver is reportedly “falling wholesale prices.” Sound weird? Maybe it’s time to change the surcharge’s name, Craig Morris suggests.
This month, the German government met with state representatives but failed to reach an agreement. The second meeting is scheduled for May 31. At the moment, both sides have simply agreed to disagree. Berlin wants to dramatically slow down the energy transition, and some states will have none of it. Craig Morris explains.
30 years ago, Chernobyl made the public fear radioactivity, thereby setting back the progress of nuclear technology – most articles you read today about the accident probably say something along those lines. For Craig Morris, that reading is a major accomplishment for the nuclear sector. The real story looks much worse.
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.
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.
Smart energy infrastructure and an entrepreneurial spirit will play an important role in driving energy transitions around the world. Cem Özdemir, Co-Chairman of the German Green Party, traveled to San Francisco to witness how innovative solutions are driving low-carbon development in the Bay Area. Here he explains how California could serve as a model for German start-ups.
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.