About five years ago, decentralized community energy, though etched in history books for having sparked Europe’s clean-energy revolution in the 1990s, was deemed outdated in the age of the ever-more dramatic climate crisis. Paul Hockenos explains the development.
Recent months have brought a series of signs of change on the horizon of Polish climate politics – some clearer than others. It is negligible how much such change is being forced by external circumstances and how much stems from genuine reflection. The climate crisis and its consequences are now so clear that the most hardened climate sceptics have been silenced. It is too soon to speak of an environmental breakthrough in Poland, but one can no longer definitively say that the right-wing remains completely indifferent to the ubiquitous signs of crisis. Michał Olszewski summarises the development.
Why isn’t it? Powerful interests in the energy sector see renewables in terms of hydro, hydro, and more hydro. It’s not what the country – or the region — needs, says Paul Hockenos.
A summary of the Polish power industry in 2018 gives no apparent reason for optimism. But appearances can be deceiving: there is a flicker of light on the horizon. The only question is whether it is not appearing too late, says Michał Olszewski.
With Germany’s coal plants scheduled to close by 2038, operators now face some major decisions about how to restructure energy systems. One idea is to convert polluting power stations into batteries. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes a look.
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.
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.