Recently, I gave an interview to David Hunt, who is Managing Partner of hyperionsearch, Chair of the Decentralised Energy Forum, and a policy board member of the UK Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the Energy Storage Alliance. We talked about the Energiewende and energy democracy. You can read the full interview here. Continue Reading
Last week I took the Energiewende on the road along the US East Coast. Over there the Energiewende gets a lot of attention. The assumption is: If an industrial powerhouse like Germany can power its factories, heat its homes and run its trains on renewables, then basically any country can.
This only tells half of the story, though. Apart from a transition from dirty to clean technologies the Energiewende is also a story of a political transition: from a centralized, corporate dominated to a smaller, more distributed and decentralized energy system. What makes the Energiewende unique is that citizens, not big utilities, are driving this transition. It is the reason why Germany may be the only country in the world where the switch to renewables is a switch to energy democracy, as we show in our book Energy Democracy. Continue Reading
In 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel drew the world’s attention to Germany’s energy transition ― or Energiewende ― when she ordered the shutdown of eight nuclear reactors in the aftermath of Fukushima. But, in all of that new attention one thing about the Energiewende was sorely overlooked: its history as a grassroots movement. Continue Reading
As Germany takes on a greater global leadership role, policymakers in Washington, Brussels and beyond need to better understand Berlin’s policy decisions. With Newpolitik, the Bertelsmann Foundation North-America is offering a guidebook for anyone seeking insight on Germany’s important and changing role in the European Union and the world. This piece addresses the German energy transition and draws three central lessons. Continue Reading
Energy Democracy – Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables
If you are active on Twitter among the energy and climate geeks like me, you run across international coverage on Germany’s energy transition almost every day. Compare that discussion with the original domestic Energiewende debate, a big perception gap opens up. Continue Reading
Change is under way for the world’s biggest coal consumer; consumption in 2014 was down. Renewables are up. Coal-fired power plants are working at less than full capacity. Continue Reading