Norway supports German energy transition
The German government and the federal states have agreed to reform the country's ambitious green energy law. What's missing in view of the Herculean task, says DW'S Jens Thurau, is a clear-cut message from Berlin.
In eight years, one third of energy in Germany will come from renewable sources. However, Germany's Environment Minister still wants to go ahead and build new coal-fired power plants.
Carbon dioxide capture and storage is considered one of the key technologies to combat climate change. Germany’s recent decision to approve it has raised new concerns, while its future may depend more on EU-wide factors.
After lengthy negotiations, Germany agreed last week to allow the underground storage of carbon captured from fossil-fuel-burning plants. The experimental practice continues to be criticized.
Germany wants to exit nuclear power by 2022. As the country balances commitments to cut emissions with the demands of a stable grid, a race to fill the gap is underway among competing sources of energy.
Germany’s switch to renewable energies is proving surprisingly good for brown coal as the use of it surged to a new high in 2013. Environmentalists are fuming and claim Germany’s clean energy image is sullied.
The Nabucco pipeline was intendend to make Europe less dependent on Russian gas. But with one of the backers jumping ship, the entire project is now in danger.
More than one third of Europe's gas needs are covered by Russian gas. The crisis in Ukraine has kindled fears that Russia could stop the flow.
The French energy giant behind the North Sea gas leak says the environmental impact of the accident will be minimal. Experts warn, however, that flammable and poisonous substances are leaking from the damaged platform.
As Germany prepares to phase out nuclear energy, major utilities want to hand over the decommissioning of their nuclear plants to a public foundation. But the government says the firms need to accept responsibility.
German utilities are keen to let the state pay for the decommissioning of the country's remaining nuclear power plants. That's a bad idea, argues the head of DW's Business & Economics Department, Manuela Kasper-Claridge.
The German government has proposed a dramatic increase in safety measures for areas surrounding nuclear power plants. The proposal coincides with the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.
Germany's utility company Eon has announced plans to shut down a nuclear power station more than half a year earlier than planned under the nation's energy transition scheme. Local politicians are alarmed.
Would European nuclear plants withstand a natural disaster or a catastrophic chain of events? These are some questions that nuclear stress tests are supposed to answer.
The German government is considering backing the construction of nuclear plants in foreign countries through financial guarantees. But campaigners say this goes against Germany's pledge to cut all forms of nuclear power.
Developers want to build a gigantic wind farm off the shores of Germany's only high-sea island Heligoland. But storms and unexploded bombs from World War II are proving a real challenge.
Often hailed as the showpiece of German efforts to promote renewable energy, until recently there was general approval for the country's offshore wind farms. Now, however, the policy is falling out of favor.
Germany's wind energy industry had a good year in 2012, but there are clouds on the horizon. Government policy and international market developments might make 2013 rather more difficult.
German wind energy is booming after the government decided to phase out nuclear energy in favor of renewable energies. Despite strong growth in 2012, turbine manufacturers expect stiff headwinds from Asia.
The expansion of wind energy in the North Sea
As solar power gets cheaper, experts are predicting a global boom that could significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. DW spoke with leading solar expert Eicke Weber about solar's vast potential.
Five percent of electricity in Germany is generated with solar power. Still, German companies are going insolvent. That was to be expected and is not surprising, says solar expert Philippe Welter.
Tough competition, price pressure and dwindling subsidies - these are the woes facing the German solar technology production sector. While the outlook seems grim, some believe that things will improve.
The German Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences has expressed strong doubts about whether biomass can be used wisely as fuel in Germany. Biofuel producers see it differently.
Environment stories from around the world
Germany's development minister is demanding an end to sales of biofuel, which critics say contributes to famine. Relief organizations welcomed the move as drought grips the US, Russia and other countries.
Water power could play a large role in future energy production, and there certainly is a lot of potential in Germany and in the EU. But while hydropower is a renewable, it's also a highly contested form of energy.
Water-powered mills have been used for centuries by mankind. The ancient technology is now enjoying a revival with traditional water mills such as the Gollmitzer near Berlin, being used to produce carbon-free energy.
Ernst Huenges, who leads the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), says there's huge potential to extract energy from the heat and water resources within the earth in order to meet the world's energy needs.
Germany will need to double its electricity storage capacity in the next 15 years to keep pace with its growing demand for clean energy. Deutsche Bank analysts say businesses have been slow to get what it means for them.
Renewable energy from sun and wind is difficult to store. Disused coal mines might be able to help.
Germany's biggest, and newest, solar storage park is also an open-air solar laboratory. The idea is to use real-time data from the field to make forecasting ultra-accurate.
New regulations unveiled by the European Commission will affect renewable energy subsidies in the bloc. The move is an attempt to lower prices and boost competitiveness.
Schools in Ulan Bator, the world's coldest capital city, are keeping warm with better insulation.
India's economic boom has sparked a huge demand for energy and led to rising emissions. Several projects aim to make businesses more energy-efficient and set them on the path to greener growth.
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