Does wind power grow faster in Germany or the UK?

In 2001-2014, wind power in the UK followed exactly the same trajectory as wind power in Germany in 1994-2007. Both paths are accurately predicted by the technology diffusion theory and do not show differences that would require additional socio-political explanations. What does require explanation is why the exponential growth of wind power was triggered in Germany and not in the UK in the early- or mid-1990s.

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Comparing energy transitions in Germany and Japan

A new paper contributes to understanding national variations in using low-carbon electricity sources by comparing the evolution of nuclear, wind and solar power in Germany and Japan. We explain why in the 1970sā€“1980s, the energy paths of the two countries were remarkably similar, but since the 1990s Germany has become a leader in renewables while phasing out nuclear energy, whereas Japan has deployed less renewables while becoming a leader in nuclear power.  

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Realpolitik is not always a mess: more on coal, nuclear, and renewables in Germany

I am grateful to Craig Morris of energytransition.de for responding to my post on nuclear, coal and renewables in Germany and Japan. Morris calls for focusing on real-world politics of energy transitions, but paradoxically views this politics as a mess. Is Realpolitik really a mess or can it be untangled to highlight useful lessons for countries that want to learn from the Energiewende?

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What does German renewable electricity growth in 2015 tell us about energy transitions?

In 2015, renewable electricity (RE) generation in Germany grew by staggering 31 Twh. The room for this expansion was largely made by increasing generation and export and, to a lesser degree, by closure of a nuclear reactor and decreasing output from imported natural gas. At the same time, the changes in coal-based power were marginal. Can similar growth be sustained in the future or replicated in other countries?

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In Germany and Japan less nuclear means more coal but not more renewables

Many people who love renewable energy hate nuclear power and vice versa. But does it mean that these two sources of electricity compete with each other in reality, and not just in the minds of their over-zealous advocates? This post looks at relevant evidence in energy plans and scenarios made in Germany and Japan both before and after the Fukushima accident.

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Germany phases out nuclear reactors because they are getting old

Is Germany shutting down its nuclear power in a brave but reckless move? Or is it guided by economic rationality and avoiding unnecessary risks? We review historic data to show that no large, safe and legal reactor has ever been or is planned to shut down in Germany unless it is between 31 and 36 years old. This may be because German government reasonably assumes that shutting down a reactor under 30 is unprofitable whereas letting a reactor go over 40 is risky. 

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Solar PV in Germany and Japan: a catch-up game

Throughout the 1990s there were 6-7 times more solar PV installations in Japan than in Germany, growing about 40% per year in both countries. In the 2000s a similar growth continued in Japan, whereas German solar grew with some 80% per year. Germany overtook Japan in in 2004 and had 5 times larger capacity by 2011. Since 2011 the pattern of growth has reversed so that Japan is likely to have more cumulative solar PV capacity in the next year or two.

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The divergent paths of renewable energy in Germany and the United States

This paper seeks for explanations for the differences in the grows of solar and wind energy in Germany and the USA. It argues that the divergence started in the late 1980s and the early 1990s due to the impact of external events (Chernobyl and German unification) which created windows of opportunities for the emergence of pro-renewable political forces which were first supported by and later supporting effective policies.

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