Awash in sunshine and gentle breezes, over the spring Easter holiday, renewable energy production throughout Germany began to climb, hitting a record on Easter Monday as roughly 77% of electricity was generated by renewables. Is this a further sign that coal is on its way out? L. Michael Buchsbaum presents the facts.
Politicians and energy sector professionals have scratched their heads for years about how to get citizens – whom they generally refer to as “consumers” – to change their habits in order to protect the climate. Now, a young generation is telling decision-makers that we can’t wait. Was ethics the answer the whole time? Craig Morris takes a look.
One widespread objection to renewables is the fact that they need some kind of backup, such as gas or hydro power. But as technologies advance, the possibility of storing electricity generated by renewables seems like not-a-too-distant future. The new concentrated solar power plant in Chile is bringing Latin America to the forefront, says Maximiliano Proaño.
Germany was once seen as the front-runner of the global energy transition, but it is now working against it at home and in Brussels, says L. Michael Buchbaum.
Years of poor management and corruption are finally catching up with South Africa’s electricity utility, Eskom, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, and couldn’t keep the lights on across the country this week. But failing coal infrastructure and the massive debt needed to keep it afloat could open the way for a speedy energy transition here, writes Leonie Joubert.
Germany is often cited as Europe’s renewable energy wunderkind, and indeed many of its laurels are well deserved. But it is no means alone on the cutting edge of climate protection, and indeed of late the Teutons have fallen behind in places. Other European countries excel in specific areas, offering best practices for the rest of the continent and beyond. In the final analysis, though, the meta-champion is the EU, says Paul Hockenos.
No other energy resource in the Czech Republic has been as discussed in the media and political debate as solar has been in recent years. The technology entered the Czech energy sector in 2010 with a big initial bounce, but its development stagnated during the next decade. Those interested in Czech photovoltaic technology are now attempting to revive it, says Martin Sedlák.
As European onshore wind energy growth slows, investors and analysts pin the blame on political infighting and faulty auction systems. L. Michael Buchsbaum reports on recent figures illustrating a particularly sharp drop in Germany.