Country report » 22.10.2014

Renewable energy and its sources in Chile

Renewable energy is currently small in Chile, but there are a lot of proposed projects for wind energy and some already done. This article from the wwea-yearbook Wind Energy international 2014/15 describes the changes of energy supply in the South American country. read more »

Policy » 21.10.2014

German industry exemptions for 2015

BAFA has published the stats for the industrial firms exempt from the full renewable power surcharge, and the number of companies exempt from grid fees was also leaked. Surprise! The surcharge won’t be affected. read more »

Policy » 21.10.2014

German government is right not to protest UK support for nuclear

On Thursday, the German Parliament voted overwhelmingly against a proposal by the Greens for Germany to take legal action against the British government’s policy support for a new nuclear power plant (Hinkley). The discussion within Germany shows how uninformed some anti-nuclear activists are. read more »

Manipulation » 20.10.2014

German renewables surcharge could have been 10% lower

According to a report in Der Spiegel, the German Industry Ministry headed by Sigmar Gabriel asked the country’s four transmission grid operators (TSOs) not to reduce the surcharge (EEG-Umlage) as much as would have been possible. The question is now why. read more »

Climate neutral at the Melbourne Zoo

Despite government backpedaling on climate policy, the Melbourne Zoo takes steps to reduce its climate impact. read more »

Desertec adieu?

The news about Desertec this week caused quite a commotion in the German press. It seems that the project divided the renewables community, and it is hard to write about the issue without taking sides. Today, I take a stab at it. read more »

German coal phaseout: SPD vs CDU

The big news item this week is the behind-the-scenes debate within the governing coalition about whether a number of coal plant owners should be paid a fee in return for shutting down their plants. The direct effect of the move would not be lower coal power production, but higher wholesale prices. The indirect effect might be less coal power. read more »

Renewables take top share in the German power mix

During the first nine months of 2014, non-hydro renewables increased their electricity production by 8.6 TWh or 9% compared to the same period in the previous year. Since all other power sources were down, this increase was enough to make non-hydro renewables the number one power source in Germany for the first time. read more »

Cost debate » 14.10.2014

German government picks target already reached

Renewables have become drastically less expensive in recent years. A new study conducted by Uwe Nestle finds puts specific numbers behind that statement and finds that future renewables growth will hardly make German power supply measurably more expensive. But perhaps we are leaving one thing out. read more »

Solar power » 14.10.2014

India may move from auctions to feed-in tariffs for PV

Indian Prime Minister Narendi Modi says it may be time for his country to move over to a “fixed-pricing model like the one used in Germany.” The statement comes, ironically, at a time when Germany is moving from feed-in tariffs to auctions. Which direction makes sense? read more »

Energy law » 13.10.2014

Brussels’ “illegal overreach” into Member State policy

On Thursday and Friday, German legal experts met at a conference held by Würzburg’s Environmental Law Foundation. Not everyone was of one opinion, but there was a clear consensus – and a reluctant recognition that the legal community may be right, but its influence is probably limited. read more »

Policy » 13.10.2014

Effective Climate Action is a Building Project

To address the dependence of our societies on fossil fuels will be an enormous undertaking, despite the recent re-appearance of often well-meaning analyses and reports emphasizing how comparatively easy and inexpensive it will be. A guest post by Michael Hoexter. read more »

The big picture » 12.10.2014

Free universities in Germany

Recent news about Germany having “abolished” tuition has gone viral on social media in English – and left Germans scratching their heads. The story fits in well with the general cheerleading about Germany as a model for the US, but it is also a good example of how greater familiarity with the country would improve reports. read more »

Brussels » 08.10.2014

EU approves state aid for new nuclear in UK

Today, the European Commission published a press release announcing what was already rumored: the British government can go ahead with its plans to provide special support for the construction of a new nuclear plant. Contradictions abound. read more »

Biomass » 08.10.2014

France goes biogas

Germany’s Weltec is now building the first biogas unit in France that will sell gas to the country’s natural gas network. Special rates for small systems make the project attractive for small biogas units fueled with agricultural waste. read more »