The World from Berlin: Germany Hits Brakes on Race to Renewable Energy Future

The World from Berlin: Germany Hits Brakes on Race to Renewable Energy Future

SPIEGEL ONLINE - August 28, 2012

The share of renewable energies in Germany's power mix has shot up so high that the electricity grid and the subsidy framework has been unable to keep up. Now, the government wants to slow down the process. German commentators say that the current chaos endangers the entire project. more...

Energy Revolution Hiccups: Grid Instability Has Industry Scrambling for Solutions

Energy Revolution Hiccups: Grid Instability Has Industry Scrambling for Solutions

SPIEGEL ONLINE - August 16, 2012

Sudden fluctuations in Germany's power grid are causing major damage to a number of industrial companies. While many of them have responded by getting their own power generators and regulators to help minimize the risks, they warn that companies might be forced to leave if the government doesn't deal with the issues fast. By Catalina Schröder more... Comment ]

Accused of 'Dumping': Chinese Firms Warn EU against Solar Trade War

Accused of 'Dumping': Chinese Firms Warn EU against Solar Trade War

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 26, 2012

This week, a group of European solar panel firms asked the European Commission to levy punitive tariffs on their Chinese rivals, who they accuse of selling products at unfairly low prices. Chinese manufacturers are outraged, warning on Thursday that a trade war could be brewing. more...

Sunny Business: Germans Cough Up for Solar Subsidies

Sunny Business: Germans Cough Up for Solar Subsidies

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 04, 2012

Solar subsidies cost German consumers billions of dollars a year and are widely regarded as inefficient. Even environmentalists are concerned that Berlin's focus on solar comes at the detriment of other renewables. But the solar industry has a powerful lobby, and politicians have proven powerless to resist. By Alexander Neubacher and Catalina Schröder more...

Environment Minister Peter Altmaier: 'We Can't Allow Electricity to Become a Luxury'

Environment Minister Peter Altmaier: 'We Can't Allow Electricity to Become a Luxury'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 06, 2012

After a year of little progress in Germany's so-called energy revolution, Chancellor Merkel recently reshuffled her cabinet to give it some fresh impetus. In a SPIEGEL interview, new Environment Minister Peter Altmaier discusses the need to inject reality into rosy assumptions and defuse anger sparked by the turnaround's costs. more...

Chasing the Sun: German and Chinese Solar Firms Battle for Survival

Chasing the Sun: German and Chinese Solar Firms Battle for Survival

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 29, 2012

Germany was proud of its supposedly future-proof solar industry and subsidized it to the hilt. But then the Chinese got in on the act and started making much cheaper solar cells. Now, following a glut in production, companies in both countries are fighting for survival. By Wiebke Hollersen more...

Energy Revolution Interruptus: Germany Stalled on the Expressway to a Green Future

Energy Revolution Interruptus: Germany Stalled on the Expressway to a Green Future

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 23, 2012

Germany's energy revolution has hardly begun, but it's already running out of steam. There is a lack of political decisiveness and companies are complaining of a dearth of incentives to invest billions in necessary infrastructure. Progress or no progress, taxpayers continue footing the bill. By Frank Dohmen, Alexander Jung, Michael Sauga and Andreas Wassermann more...

Setting Sun: Eastern Germany Hit Hard by Decline of Solar

Setting Sun: Eastern Germany Hit Hard by Decline of Solar

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 27, 2012

The global solar industry has entered a brutal phase of consolidation and nowhere are the effects as dramatic as in eastern Germany. Several companies have already declared bankruptcy, leaving towns and cities in the region struggling with job losses and tax revenue shortfalls. The future bodes ill. By Charles Hawley more...

Twilight of an Industry: Bankruptcies Have German Solar on the Ropes

Twilight of an Industry: Bankruptcies Have German Solar on the Ropes

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 03, 2012

The German solar industry is at a turning point. The bankruptcy of Q-Cells this week shows that the days of German solar cell production are numbered. Asian competitors took the lead years ago, and German government subsidies were part of the problem. By Stefan Schultz more... Comment ]

A World without Oil: Companies Prepare for a Fossil-Free Future

A World without Oil: Companies Prepare for a Fossil-Free Future

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 02, 2012

Drivers may hate rising gas prices, but some companies are delighted as they watch the oil price soar. Firms like BMW and Airbus which are leaders in fuel efficiency actually benefit from expensive oil. They are just two of a growing number of companies that are already developing technologies for a post-fossil-fuel world. By SPIEGEL Staff more... Comment ]