Upcoming auctions for PV: a legal perspective Thorben Wengert/pixelio.de

Energy policy » 19.12.2014

Upcoming auctions for PV: a legal perspective

Next year, Germany launches its first auctions ever. The requests for proposals will cover photovoltaics, but the experience is to be used to design auctions for all renewable energy projects of a certain size by 2018. Today, we review a paper by Christian Kahle, legal expert at Bird & Bird, on the policy change. read more »

1.7 trillion euros for German nuclear phaseout? Andreas Hermsdorf, pixelio.de

Do the math! » 18.12.2014

1.7 trillion euros for German nuclear phaseout?

Back in January 2012, the head of Siemens’ energy division estimated the cost of shutting down Germany‘s nuclear plants by 2023. And once again, the journalists were more stenographers than investigators; they simply repeated the figure without investigating the numbers. Time to do the math. read more »

Making power pylons more attractive Flower Tower by Gustafson Porter

Aesthetics » 18.12.2014

Making power pylons more attractive

The UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change held a competition for new pylon design. The winners were recently announced. James Wimberley investigates. read more »

German gas and power consumption down in 2014 Foto: chrisdesign/pixelio

Statistics » 17.12.2014

German gas and power consumption down in 2014

German utility lobby group BDEW estimates that gas consumption will be down by around 14 percent this year, with power consumption also dropping by nearly 4 percent. The reasons given are interesting, especially the one not mentioned. read more »

The Kaya Identity for top carbon emitters Bernard Chabot

The Kaya Identity for top carbon emitters

French energy expert Bernard Chabot is back today with an overview of the main indicators for China, the US, the EU, and India – the four biggest emitters of carbon dioxide worldwide. read more »

Can democracy override physics? Foto: Energiegenossenschaft Starkenburg

Can democracy override physics?

Repeatedly, the non-German world hears about how German energy policy is based on democratic input and wonders how something properly left up to experts can be negotiated with people who don’t understand the physics. In reality, the politicians who make energy policy don’t understand the physics either, and physicists understand physics, not policy. The main flaw in this analysis is that it locates “tyranny” solely among the unwashed masses, treating experts as though they were not humans, but agents acting solely upon reason. read more »

Solar and wind give California second camel hump EIA

Grid loads » 12.12.2014

Solar and wind give California second camel hump

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued a press release this month showing how solar and wind power have changed the residual load served by dispatchable power plants. read more »

Industry Minister Gabriel, meet Environmental Minister Gabriel Foto: max/fotolia

Politics » 12.12.2014

Industry Minister Gabriel, meet Environmental Minister Gabriel

A German blogger sums up the many contradictions in German Industry Minister Gabriel’s recent statements about the Energiewende. It’s not just any blog – it’s from EnBW, Germany’s fourth largest utility. read more »

A (delayed) review of the World Nuclear Report World Nuclear Report

Nuclear power » 10.12.2014

A (delayed) review of the World Nuclear Report

Published this summer, the most recent WNR contains a new category designed to help track the large number of nuclear plants that are technically in operation but not producing any electricity. My review is unfortunately not exactly on schedule, but at least it isn't over budget. read more »

What happens when the price of oil starts to rise again? Philipp Schmagold

Guest commentary » 09.12.2014

What happens when the price of oil starts to rise again?

A rising oil price and ever scarcer reserves would of course increase the social and political pressure to revive the commitment to the energy transition. But Philipp Schmagold, a wind farm planner and a lecturer in renewable energy at the Kiel University of Applied Sciences warns of one negative effect of dwindling fossil fuel resources that has received little attention. read more »