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German Lesson for Renewable Power Policies

May 19, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

German Renewables Policies

The EU Commission recently unveiled new regulations for the period 2014 to 2020 to gradually phase out support for renewable energy technologies. In a press release the commission stated the guidelines are intended to “promote a gradual move to market-based support for renewable energy.”[read more]

German Demand Response: Almost Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

When the wind blows and the sun shines in Germany, electricity prices in the country plummet. Natural gas peaker plants are not needed, as the peaks are erased and they cannot compete with renewables. But the grid still needs a lot of balancing resources during times that renewables dominate.[read more]


Germany's Energiewende Troubles Prove That Renewable Energy Has Failed. And Other Strange Ideas

February 4, 2014 by Robert Wilson

Germany and the Energiewende

What has been obvious to me for a long time now appears to have become obvious to many others: Germany's energy policy is a confused mess. Germany's energy revolution is, in the words of New Scientist, "on the verge of collapse." And it was all rather predictable.[read more]


Why Germany's Nuclear Phase Out is Leading to More Coal Burning

January 20, 2014 by Robert Wilson

Germany Nuclear Phase Out

In 2012 Germany's Environment Minister opened a new lignite power plant, arguing the following: “If one builds a new state-of-the-art lignite power plant to replace several older and much less efficient plants, then I feel this should also be acknowledged as a contribution to our climate protection efforts.”[read more]

The Effect of Intermittent Renewables on Electricity Prices in Germany

January 9, 2014 by Schalk Cloete

Germany and Intermittent Renewables

Falling electricity prices offer a good demonstration of how quickly the market discounts intermittent renewables as penetration increases, thereby further eroding the already-poor competitiveness of these types of electricity sources.[read more]

Time-Lapse Image of 27GW of PV [VIDEO]

December 14, 2013 by Nigel Morris

German PV Development

Here is an awesome time-lapse video that shows both the deployment and the geographic spread of PV in Germany since January of 2009. The video is short, sharp, sweet, and powerful. Unless, of course, you own a coal fired power station.[read more]


Renewables and Natural Gas are Partners, Part II: Proof of Concept

December 9, 2013 by Edward Dodge

Renewables and Natural Gas Partnership?

In Germany a test has been successfully conducted of a 100% renewable energy power plant to provide round the clock electric power. The Kombikraftwerk 2 is a “Combined Renewable Energy Power Plant” that links together geographically dispersed assets into a virtual power plant.[read more]

Making Petrochemicals From CO2

December 9, 2013 by Geoffrey Styles

A recent article in Chemical & Engineering News described current German research and development work focused on devising new industrial processes for making organic chemicals from CO2. These public/private partnerships capitalize on that country’s long expertise in industrial chemistry.[read more]

122% Wind Power?: A Postcard from the Future of Energy

November 14, 2013 by America's Power Plan

Wind Energy and the Future

Denmark has gotten over 100% wind power in ninety different hours this year. How do they handle that kind of energy, and what does it portend for the United States? A "Postcard from the Future" from America's Power Plan.[read more]

Under Threat, German Utility Says It Will Create a New 'Prosumer Business Model'

October 25, 2013 by Stephen Lacey

Challenged by the surge in distributed renewables and a strong decline in revenues, one of Europe's largest largest utilities, RWE, is reportedly planning to completely transform itself from a traditional electricity provider into a renewable energy service provider.[read more]

Low Capacity Factors: challenges for a low carbon energy transition

October 15, 2013 by Robert Wilson

Low Capacity Factors

A transition to low carbon energy faces multiple challenges, here I discuss two: that posed by the low capacity factors of renewable energy, and the challenge posed by the requirement for power plants to run with reduced capacity factors.[read more]

Fuel Choice: Diesel Me This, Diesel Me That

July 26, 2013 by Maximilian Auffhammer

In the summer I often take my family to the home of soccer, beer, and renewables – Germany. The place has changed. The potato fields I used to traverse on my BMX bike are covered in Chinese made Solar PV installations, and there are windmills everywhere.[read more]

Is "Expensive Gas Killing Wind" in Germany?

July 15, 2013 by Robert Wilson

German wind farm output recently dropped by 10% because of the weather. And if expensive gas had something to do with it critics don't exactly go out of their way to provide evidence that it did.[read more]

100 Percent Renewable Energy And Beyond

June 27, 2013 by Thomas Gerke

Knight of Renewables!

While many countries still discuss whether or not a 100% renewable energy system – or “just” a 100% renewable electricity supply – is even theoretically possible, Germans seem no longer bothered by such unscientific doubts.[read more]

Community Power: Loans for Community-Based Renewable Energy

May 11, 2013 by Sadhbh Ní Hógáin

The most successful way of letting many people participate in energy production is through community energy co-operatives. They allow the broader public to share in the profits of energy production.[read more]