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.
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.
Vattenfall has failed to find a buyer for its coal assets in Germany. The focus is now on alternative models, such as a fund to protect workers. Craig Morris explains.
And then there were three… E.ON, one of Germany’s Big Four utilities, is selling its conventional power plant fleet. Is this a special case, or is E.ON setting an example for the other utilities? Craig Morris investigates.
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.
Renewables and climate protection, so goes common wisdom, are costly endeavors that inevitably throw a spanner in industrial economies geared for growth. But an excellent new study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory for the European Climate Foundation contradicts this ostensible truism. As Paul Hockenos explains, it shows that while the transition to a low-carbon energy system may indeed cost money, economies can grow – not despite low-emissions policies, but also because of them.