Berlin is forfeiting its global role as leader in climate protection.
Even though rarely discussed, climate change is one factor exacerbating the present refugee crisis engulfing Europe.
With US President Barack Obama and the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates rolling out their climate change strategies, now is a good time to take a look at what has worked – and what has not – in Germany and the rest of Europe.
A new incentives initiative seeks to complete Germany’s transition to renewables with an appeal to business and a focus on a long-neglected area: the heating and cooling sector. Government support for solar and biogas heat may give the Energiewende a further push in the right direction.
Removing regulations slowing the build-up of renewable systems for consumers and industry, considering complementary methods of integrating fluctuating flows of renewable energy, and greening the transport sector through fuel innovations: these are three of the developments we may see in Germany’s renewable energy transition in 2015.
What a difference a year makes: Germany’s transition to renewable energy showed positive forward momentum, with increasing energy production from renewables, increased exports, decreased carbon emissions, and decreasing consumer prices. The next challenge is to improve efficiency.