The success of the energy transition in the Western Balkans and Ukraine is a question of political will in those countries. But the EU can help set up the conditions for a successful modernization, writes Robert Sperfeld.
While the European Union has been busy with the new Clean Energy Package, some important developments are also taking place in South-East Europe, where the Energy Community Treaty operates. Journalist and energy expert Oleg Savitsky attended explains how policymakers are trying to transform the energy markets of the EU’s neighbourhood.
The transition of the energy sector towards clean and safe renewable energy sources will allow Ukraine to build a new strong economy and break out of socio-economic decline, argue Oleh Savytskyi and Oksana Aliieva. It’s time for Ukraine to embrace renewables to combat global climate change, and to enhance security and welfare of its people.
Polish mining is in crisis, but its companies are acting like nothing’s wrong. They are even paying out miners their traditional Barbórka (St Barbara’s day) bonuses. Michał Olszewski finds that despite generous EU funding, Poland does not invest in the future of its energy system.
As the Nord Stream II project progresses, many EU countries – and Brussels itself – continue to express concern. So why is the German government so nonchalant about the country’s dependence on natural gas from Russia? Craig Morris has a few suggestions.
Ukraine has been a part of the EU Energy Community since 2011, but recently the President vetoed two draft laws to protect the environment and citizen health. Does the country risk losing the trust of its European partners? Anastasiya Yermakova takes a look.
A Ukrainian Energiewende could go a long way to resolving the current geopolitical crisis around the country, writes Oleg Savitsky of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine in a new report for the Succow Stiftung. According to Savitsky, it would reduce Ukraine’s dependence on Russian gas and uranium as well as on coal from the breakaway regions, while at the same time reducing pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and the risk of a nuclear disaster. It would also help to combat corruption and usher in economic growth and a more equitable society. Savitsky calls on the EU and Germany to set up a “Marshall Plan” to bring about a Ukrainian energy transition, rather than trying to maintain Ukraine as a failed gas transit state.
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.
The UN will include “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy” in their post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDG). Matthias Ruchser explains the concepts and takes a look at what Germany needs to do in the coming years to fulfill the goal, namely turning its electricity transition into a holistic energy transition.
In an overall successful year 2014, the German Energiewende saw a lot of changes. 2015 will be characterized by international developments like falling fossil fuel prices. To keep the Energiewende on track, Matthias Ruchser demands to finally tap potentials in the heating and transport sector.