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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Manufacturing » 17.12.2014

Bright market outlook for German PV equipment suppliers

German engineering lobby group VDMA says that sales revenue in the PV production equipment sector grew by more than a third in the first three quarters of 2014 year over year. The Germans still make up more than 50 percent of the global market. read more »

Commercial PV + storage

German solar inverter manufacturer SMA published an update of its review of “directly consumed” solar power for commercial arrays. Today, we provide a summary in English. Spoiler: if you’re looking for a market overview, it’s not here. read more »

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 »

Future market » 16.12.2014

Elegant and efficient: solar architecture

In solar architecture, mass-produced products are no longer attractive but individual designs are gaining momentum in the market. read more »

TU Berlin » 15.12.2014

Hydrogen from a solar reactor

A new reactor at TU Berlin demonstrates how sunlight can be used to help produce hydrogen. read more »

Statistics » 15.12.2014

New wind power record in Germany

For all of you record collectors out there, Germany set a new record in wind power production a few days ago. And for the record, it came after really dismal doldrums in the first third of the month. A view of the month reveals a great correlation between power from natural gas and electricity imports. read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Australians break through the 40% efficiency mark

Australian researchers have developed a solar cell system within efficiency exceeding 40%. The system consists of stacked sales and silicon cells The new technology was designed for solar tower power plants. read more »

Innovation » 11.12.2014

Wind turbines for 30 years?

Wind Power Monthly reports that German wind turbine manufacturer Enercon is working on a 4 MW turbine designed to remain in operation for three decades. Ironically, this turbine would slow down the German market if it proves to be a success. read more »