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The Alternative Option

Energy and its sources have become a 21st century debate of national security and environmental impact. European governments have set ambitious carbon emissions-reduction goals and have invested billions of euros into offshore wind parks and solar energy captured in the Sahara.

Germany's Energy Poverty: How Electricity Became a Luxury Good

Germany's Energy Poverty: How Electricity Became a Luxury Good

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 04, 2013

Germany's agressive and reckless expansion of wind and solar power has come with a hefty pricetag for consumers, and the costs often fall disproportionately on the poor. Government advisors are calling for a completely new start. By SPIEGEL Staff more... Comment ]

Casualty of War: WWII Explosives Scuttle Windfarm Opening

Casualty of War: WWII Explosives Scuttle Windfarm Opening

SPIEGEL ONLINE - August 08, 2013

The ambitious Riffgat wind farm was supposed to open off the German and Dutch coast this month and power 120,000 homes. Now the discovery of unexploded ordinance is causing a costly delay. more... Comment ]

Turbine Trouble: Ill Wind Blows for German Offshore Industry

Turbine Trouble: Ill Wind Blows for German Offshore Industry

SPIEGEL ONLINE - August 02, 2013

Only recently, the offshore wind industry was seen as an opportunity to regenerate Germany's coast. But amid changing political attitudes and spiraling costs, several companies are struggling to survive. Is the wind boom over before it even really began? By Michael Fröhlingsdorf more... Comment ]

Unfair Competition? EU Takes on German Green Energy Law

Unfair Competition? EU Takes on German Green Energy Law

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 15, 2013

The European Commission plans to launch a probe this Wednesday into Germany's renewable energy law. Brussels says it breaches EU competition law because it exempts many companies from charges levied to fund green subsidies. more... Comment ]

High Court Clash: Land Dispute Could Curb German Coal Mining

High Court Clash: Land Dispute Could Curb German Coal Mining

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 04, 2013

A giant open-pit mining area near Cologne has already swallowed up 14 villages, but one police officer is fighting to protect his home. He has managed to bring his case before Germany's highest court, and its ruling could have major implications for the future of brown coal mining in Germany. By Dietmar Hipp and Barbara Schmid more...

War on Subsidies: Brussels Questions German Energy Revolution

War on Subsidies: Brussels Questions German Energy Revolution

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 29, 2013

As part of Germany's switch to renewables, industry has been exempt from paying higher prices associated with solar and wind energy. The European Commission, however, believes the practice distorts competition on the Continent. Huge penalties could be in store. By Frank Dohmen, Christoph Pauly and Gerald Traufetter more... Comment ]

Electric Avenue: Solar Road Panels Offer Asphalt Alternative

Electric Avenue: Solar Road Panels Offer Asphalt Alternative

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 24, 2013

An American couple has found a surprising alternative to conventional asphalt motorways: solar road panels. In addition to providing electricity, saving oil and melting fresh snow, it could also prevent accidents. By Sören Harder more... Comment ]

Nuclear Headache: Task of Decommissioning Plants Is Herculean

Nuclear Headache: Task of Decommissioning Plants Is Herculean

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 10, 2013

The dismantling of Germany's nuclear power plants will be one of the greatest tasks of the century as the country moves to phase out atomic energy. It will take at least until 2080 to complete the job. But what happens if energy utility companies who own the facilities go bust before the work is done? By Gerald Traufetter more... Comment ]

Leading or Following? Merkel Speaks with Two Tongues on Climate

Leading or Following? Merkel Speaks with Two Tongues on Climate

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 07, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded an international climate deal by 2015 on Monday. Yet at home, she has declined to push for badly needed fixes to Europe's ailing carbon cap-and-trade program. She is putting off the toughest decisions until after fall elections. By Joel Stonington more... Comment ]

Passing the Buck: Siemens Blames Others for Delayed Deliveries

Passing the Buck: Siemens Blames Others for Delayed Deliveries

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 03, 2013

Due to a series of glitches, German electronics giant Siemens has once again been unable to deliver trains on time. Instead of assuming responsibility for the problems, management is trying to pin the blame on suppliers and government agencies. By Dinah Deckstein more... Comment ]