The German Sustainability Revolution

Energiewende-500x333I just wanted to flag the fact that I led a group of grad students to Berlin at the end of May and we had a fabulous six-day series of tours and briefings.  I’ll be writing with a bit of depth about the trip here soon, but in the meantime, you can see my post at our NYU Center for Global Affairs blog, The Global Citizen.


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“Think ahead. Act together.”

G7_Germany_Logo_lang_640_201The G7 members were hosted in Germany this year and made some bold pronouncements relative to the future of energy and the climate system.  I am manifestly not a cynic on the progress the world has been making on climate and energy over the past decade or so.  That is certainly the premise of my book and this blog:  that there are scores of important breakthroughs and initiatives being made every year, most everywhere.  I have, however, taken a cautious approach to the importance of the global approach to mitigating greenhouse gases.  A consensus has been building and continues to build about the need for action.  There is absolutely no doubt about that.  But the speed and depth of commitment from some of the leading actors remains in question. Continue reading


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Driving Die Energiewende

DruckThe revolutionary “energy transition” that Germany is undergoing is being driven by a lot of forces:  a very progressive public that fully embraces the concept of high tech and far fewer GHGs, a political establishment that backs the project – across the entire spectrum from right to left, and a number of visionaries like the late Hermann Scheer.  I have written about the Energiewende for my old blog and for the new one.

Another one of Scheer’s generation of leaders on renewables is Rainer Baake.  He’s heading up a project called the Agora Energiewende which is, among other things, supporting the transition with advanced technical thinking on a range of issues and is also helping to spread the gospel of 100% renewable electricity globally. Continue reading


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Germany’s Energy Transition

I’ve written about Germany’s remarkable transition to renewable energy a number of times.  I had the opportunity to hear Jochen Flasbarth, the President of the Federal Environment Agency of Germany, speak about this last April.  I followed up with the stunning news in June that Germany had, for one day, supplied half of its power from photovoltaic.  The Germans continue to set the pace for the rest of the world. Continue reading


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The Sun Shines on Germany

I wrote in April about Germany’s ambitious goal of deriving 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2050.  It seems to me that they’re going to get there a lot sooner than 2050.

Solar electricity world record: Germany cranks half its power with PV was the headline recently from SmartPlanet.  Germany hit a breathtaking 22.15 gigawatts of PV output on May 25th.  There are several astonishing things about that, one of which is that the US may get to 3 GW of installed capacity this year, a drop in the bucket compared to Germany’s herculean output. Continue reading


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