ip journal

Faint Praise for EU Climate Diplomacy
Faint Praise for EU Climate Diplomacy

EU and German efforts fall short in Doha

13/12/2012 | by Paul Hockenos | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Climate and Environment

The EU did more than just about anyone else at the recent UN climate summit in Doha to make progress on an array of issues that could slow global warming. But this praise is consciously faint. The meager steps forward in Qatar – like the formulation of a successor treaty to Kyoto – won’t keep global temperatures from rising less than 2 degrees in coming decades or coastal states from being swallowed up by the Pacific.

ip journal

Model or Maverick?
Model or Maverick?

Peter Altmaier and Günther Oettinger discuss Europe’s Energiewende

06/12/2012 | by Peter Altmaier, Günther Oettinger | Geographical areas of Europe, Resources and Energy

The EU plans to modernize its public power supply, to create an integrated energy infrastructure, and to take the leap into the era of renewable energy. Is Europe on the right track? And what is Germany’s role? Here are three questions for the Federal Minister for the Environment Peter Altmaier and European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger.


Transitioning to Renewable Energy
Can Germany Do It Alone?
24/10/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
At a time when German politicians are questioning whether Germany is on the right path, it’s worth underscoring that the process of energy transition involves its entire European neighborhood.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Climate and Environment, Climate & Energy Policy, European Union, Germany, Central Europe, Europe, Western Europe, Northern Europe
Subsidizing the Wrong Guys
Money for dirty fuel during a green energy transition
11/10/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Complaints about the cost of Energiewende subsidies are rife within the German media and public discussion. But the cost of subsidizing far dirtier forms of energy remains overlooked.
Category Non-Renewables, Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Unlikely Revolutionaries
Support for the Energiewende goes beyond the usual suspects
04/10/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Another misunderstanding about Germany’s clean energy shift is the idea that somehow “the state” or green tree huggers are behind it.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Choppy Waters for Offshore Wind
If the Energiewende is to succeed, offshore wind will be crucial
28/09/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Germany’s offshore wind power is one of the missing links in the Energiewende. The German government wants to see a ginormous 25,000 megawatts of offshore wind parks installed in the Baltic and North Seas—the equivalent of 20 large nuclear power reactors. Yet there are only two wind parks in commercial operation, and one of them operates at just a fifth of capacity.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Lying About Electricity Prices
The incentive to spread false information about Energiewende costs
18/09/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
We have to talk about prices one more time. It’s all over the media that Germany’s transition to renewables is killing—or going to kill German industry. How can Germany compete abroad when it pays so much for its energy? It’s all a consequence of the Energiewende! This is a lot of rubbish.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Smart or Super?
The debate over Germany's energy grid
29/08/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
The volume of electricity produced from renewable sources of energy in Germany is burgeoning, which is good news—except that the country's present transmission grids haven't kept up with renewable energy production. Right now, capacity is no where near adequate for Germany's goals of where it wants to be with renewables in 10 or 15 years time.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
The 10 Point Plan
The new environment minister's progress—and potential pitfalls, after 100 days
21/08/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Germany's new environment minister has recently laid out a 10 point plan for the energy transition that potentially holds a lot of promise. But his wish to revamp the country's Renewable Energy Law to please some of the government's neo-liberals could put a lot of environmental progress in jeopardy.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Best Practices in Feldheim and Freiburg
Two German renewable energy success stories prove size doesn't matter when it comes to going green
14/08/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Tiny Feldheim and urbane Freiburg have little in common other than that they're two of Germany's, and perhaps the world's, best models for the transition to green energy. The two towns prove that what counts when it comes to going renewable is commitment and ingenuity, not size.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
More Milestones and Momentum
Germany is making big progress in its transition to renewables, but power consumption still isn't falling very much
09/08/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Record volumes of renewable energy production in Germany have just been posted. At the same time, the country still has a conservation challenge. Power consumption may have declined a small amount, but it didn’t come from efficiency and conservation measures.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Bioenergy? Not So Fast
Leading German scientists attack bioenergy strategy
31/07/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
There’s no one, set-in-stone blueprint for Germany’s energy transition. A lot of it will be made up along the way and plans will change as we learn more. One of the Energiewende’s pillars, for example, namely bioenergy, has just been subjected to a blistering critique by Germany’s foremost scientists.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Beer, Lederhosen, and Solar Panels
Bavaria adds something else to its worldwide reputation—a solar panel fixation
24/07/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Bavaria's success at promoting solar power has become so renowned, that the German state is getting a green reputation to add to its Oktoberfest fame. That's because investing in solar panels has become a smart financial move for property owners.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe
Merkel’s Stalling Revolution
Chancellor slipping in environmental goals
18/07/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
Two normally antagonistic ministries suggest Merkel's environmental commitment is faltering and Germany's renewables industry will suffer more to please big automakers.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Who’s Paying and Why
Calculating the costs of Germany's variable energy pricing
21/06/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
It’s high time to say something about the raging debate over the high and rising electricity prices in Germany. Almost unanimously they’re being blamed on the Energiewende, and are being employed by opponents to stop or at least slow down the energy transition. It is not fair.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
“There is some strategic interest in renewables”
Kelly Sims Gallagher on the prospects for a renewable future
21/03/2012 | by Kelly Sims Gallagher
New investments in China and the Middle East have demonstrated a developing strategic interest in renewable energies. Yet every country still faces obstacles: be it legislation in the United States or enforcement and rapid development in China. Kelly Sims Gallagher of the Fletcher School at Tufts University sits down with IP to talk about the future of energy policy and its effects on foreign relations.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Non-Renewables, Nuclear Energy, Worldwide