Thursday, April 25, 2013

Oxford Institute for Energy Studies on Energiewende

It seems as if the German words Kindergarten, Angst, and Blitzkrieg which have entered the English language will be joined by another one, Energiewende. The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies does not bother to translate the term. It published a short report under title 'Current German energy policy - the Energiewende: a UK and climate change perspective'. Here is the brief:
This comment considers German energy policy, as set out in the Energiewende, as seen from the perspective of attempts to reduce CO2 emissions, and the ambitions of the EU to be considered global leaders on this issue. It argues that the nuclear moratorium is irrational and will significantly increase damaging emissions; and that policies of promoting renewables, while preferring coal over gas on grounds of cost, are inconsistent.
The comment is five pages short, you can download it here.


ghost said...

did the author analyze the Energiewende or does he try to defend the English (not British) nuclear plan? I am not sure.

Anonymous said...


IMO it's a very good analysis, I would subscribe to everything.

And I thougt it's a text we could almost all agree on.


hvw said...

The executive summary is this:

"Germany is moving its power sector in the wrong direction", because I happen to know that nuclear energy is the only right direction. Risk associated with nuclear power is really low, because 1) a UK government report says so, 2) because it is principle an insurable risk and I prefer not to think about why it is not insurable in fact, and 3) because Geoge Monbiot (who bases his opinion an excellent internet comic) says so.

Putting this compelling risk analysis together with the well know fact that "Except perhaps to an increasingly shrill and isolated group of sceptics, the science could not be more definitive in describing the mechanisms, the nature of the risks, and the residual uncertainties [of CO2 emissions]" and with my quantification of this risk as "immense, and, in plausible worst case scenarios, catastrophic", there is no doubt to my conclusion that German energy politics is wrong. As you can see, this is based on sound scientific analysis (I have a PhD after all), represents objective truth, and therefore I am at liberty to judge the result of German democratic process as "irrational". Those confused souls who want to acknowledge the validity a of a different risk perception and of different value judgements of some tens of millions of Germans should go home and wipe their tears with postnormal literature.

ghost said...


I was asking, because the English plans are so crappy. The EDF wants to have for their plant 100 Pound/MWh guaranteed for 30-40 years!!! Compare it to the prices for renewable energy. That crappy power plant costs 16.6 Bn Euro. Planned were 12 Bn or so. If the government does not approve the subsidies, EDF will stop the investments. Hitachi won't build their reactors. The last hope is a Chinese government controlled company.

The German approach is so different. It is much more managing the masses than a centralized, top-down approach. It is risky and ambitious, but at least realistic.