Germany – Continental Europe

The Berlin-based Heinrich Böll Foundation, a think tank close to Germany’s Greens, argues that Germany could – with the right policies – go 100% renewable by 2050, even as it phases out nuclear power and sticks to EU carbon emission limits.

Germany’s current target, embraced by the Merkel administration, is 80% clean energy by mid-century. Keep reading →

While Germany’s once soaring photovoltaic sector is going through very hard times – a consequence primarily of cheap Chinese imports – the country’s wind energy sector, also a market leader, has so far managed to stay on its feet. But the industry is not booming like it did just a few years ago and is scaling back its expectations for 2012. Experts in Germany say that the German wind industry should expect even tougher competition coming its way soon, possibly from China.

In Germany one of the country’s solar panel manufacturers after another closed their doors over the past year and a half: Battling with China and other new competitors the world-wide industry created a glut and prices went tumbling down in 2009 and 2010. With them went under what had been several of the choicest success stories of Germany’s post-unification economy, many of them in the former eastern Germany which had benefited immensely from the upstart renewables industry. Keep reading →

In 1996, when the German Wind Energy Association (GWEA) came to life, the full force of Germany’s onshore wind power amounted to a handful of entrepreneurs experimenting with a budding but imperfect technology.

Today, only 16 years later, onshore wind power constitutes 8 percent of Germany’s energy supply, generating nearly half of the nation’s renewable electricity. More than 24,000 wind turbines dot the German landscape with a capacity of more than 32,000 megawatts. Keep reading →

The European Union (EU) has the reputation of a bureaucracy awash in red tape. Yet when it comes to wind power, and above all onshore wind, its policies over the last decade have proven enormously effective getting this precocious branch of business in Europe on its feet – and even booming.

Despite an ongoing economic crisis, Europe’s wind power industry has flourished as few others, not least as a consequence of the EU targets, national action plans, and other framework regulation including carbon pricing. Keep reading →

The German wind industry sits at the heart of a European energy market preparing for a disruptive transformation intended to promote integration and allow the rich wind resource of the North to fuel continent-wide growth, without the risks of nuclear power and reliance on foreign energy producers.

It is a comprehensive, ambitious vision that in Germany alone the environment minister Peter Altmaier has compared in scale to the country’s painful post-Communist reunification. Keep reading →

Some of the most influential voices in the clean energy sector gathered recently in New York for the US launch of the Corporate Renewable Energy Index and the Global Consumer Wind Study.

Companies manage what is measured, and increasingly understand their customers and their competitors by leveraging the data sets provided by measurements that in previous business cycles would have been difficult to gather, much less compare. Keep reading →

Energy supply will soon no longer be a commodity, exchangeable and undifferentiated. Transparency about methods of production combined with increased consumer enthusiasm for authentic ways of ensuring their habits don’t harm the planet will ensure a shift in how energy is made, consumed and tracked.

That’s the brave new world Morten Albaek envisions as he considers the “puzzle” that is the energy mix today. Albaek is Global Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Corporate Relations at Vestas, the Denmark-based world leading wind energy company, but his approach to the business of selling wind turbines to the world is based on a fundamental view of the sector’s place in history, and its development. Keep reading →

Global investment in renewable energy capacity hit $237 billion in 2011, outpacing the $223 billion invested in new fossil fuel capacity globally, according to new data prepared by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for Vestas.

Moves by corporations to invest in renewable energy has the support of consumers as well, says a company data set – the Global Consumer Wind Study – also collected for Vestas and published as part of its Energy Transparency 2012 effort. Breaking Energy has partnered with Vestas on the Energy Transparency campaign as well. Read more about it here. Keep reading →

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