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Supply Crises and Alternatives

October 7, 2022

Can Norway cover Europe’s natural gas shortage? How do heat pumps work? Can self-driving trains save energy? How is France coping with its mustard shortage? And why it's worth rediscovering hemp.

Norwegen Offshore-Erdgasplattform Troll A im Troll-Gasfeld
Image: Abaca/picture alliance
Polen | Eröffnung Erdgaspipeline zwischen Norwegen und Polen
Image: JP Black/ZUMAPRESS/picture alliance

Can Norwegian gas solve Europe’s energy woes?

Europe is hoping to import more gas from Norway. But while it is possible to increase production at source, this can only be done gradually. At the same time, Norway is itself transitioning to renewable energies. 


Großwärmepumpe Unitop
Image: friotherm

Why heat pumps are all the rage

Heat pumps are in big demand as an alternative to oil and gas. But they’re big energy consumers themselves – especially when not properly configured. And there’s a shortage of professional installers.


Zugbildungsanlage im Stadtteil Vorhalle
Image: Stefan Ziese/blickwinkel/picture alliance

Saving energy with self-driving trains

Autonomous trains are set to make rail travel more punctual and more efficient – while boasting energy savings of 30%. Operators also expect less wear and tear on the machinery. We look at a pilot project in Hamburg.


Frankreich | Knappheit an Senf
Image: Sonia Phalnikar/DW

France faces mustard shortage

France’s favorite condiment is disappearing from supermarket shelves. Drought has crippled harvests of mustard seeds in one of the major export nations: Canada. A report from France’s Burgundy region, where mustard is part of the local culture. 


Marokko | Marihuana
Image: Bni Hmed/AP/picture alliance

Was banning cannabis a big mistake?

A plant with many names: hemp, cannabis, marijuana, weed, ganja. And it has an equally diverse range of end products: textiles, paper, medicine, energy and oil. It’s also been demonized and criminalized. Now, the "miracle plant" is making a comeback.



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