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.
In order to prevent the worst outcomes of global climate change, the world needs to phase out coal. While some countries are taking first steps in this regard, Russia shows considerable little interest in the issue. However, the country may be pushed in this direction nevertheless, as Vladimir Slivyak explains.
In the coming months, the EU will decide on its future energy mix and the role of renewables. So far, the outlook is bleak. Silvia Brugger explains why the EU should opt for a much more ambitious program: Renewables are cheaper and reduce Europe’s foreign energy dependence.
The Ukrainian crisis of the last months has called Europe’s strategic dependency on Russian energy imports into question. According to Matthias Ruchser, there can be only one future-proof answer to the current dilemma, which will decarbonise Europe while also increasing energy independency: A European energy transition.
The Polish government is one of the proponents of a European energy union. Unfortunately, its sole concerns are cheap access to gas and the survival of Polish coal – a goal that runs completely contrary to the EU’s climate policy, argues Michał Olszewski.
Depending on who you ask, Germany just imposed a temporary moratorium on fracking or just opened the floodgates for it. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle, with opposing camps reading the worst into the facts for their own political campaigning. Craig Morris says the situation in Ukraine is illustrative.
Next week, elections to the European Parliament will take place all over Europe. What stance do the different parties take on the issue of energy and could a further integration of the energy market based on support for renewables and energy efficiency help to reinvigorate the European project? Grace Murray and Heike Leberle report from Brussels.