Today, the EU is a world leader in alternative energy efforts, most
notably Germany's Energiewende, which aims to replace coal and nuclear
with wind and solar electricity. However, the EU is also interconnecting
member-state gas, electrical and transport systems and unifying its energy
markets aided by its new European Energy Union (EEU), whose formation was
spurred by the Ukraine crisis and Europe's heavy dependence on Russian
In Energizing Europe, we investigate how these transitions impact EU
carbon emissions, resources, economy, society, and geopolitical security.
We begin by surveying the EU's energy resources and infrastructure as
compared to the USA's. We then study Europes energy transitions from
medieval times through its 20th-century energy crises and wars.
With this preparation, we begin a study of Europe's intended 21st-century
energy transitions. Topics include: (i) Germany's Energiewende, its technical,
economic, and social challenges and its impact on EU neighbors; (ii)
problems of oil dependence and traffic congestion in the German and EU
transport sectors; (iii) EU natural gas policy, external issues
including dependence on Russia and pipelines through Ukraine, attempts to
diversify with Norwegian, North African and Caspian gas and with US
liquefied natural gas (LNG); and internal issues such as market
unification, interconnection of pipelines, anti-monopoly efforts,
fracking, and competition from cheap carbon-intensive coal; (iv) finally,
we examine German rejection of nuclear energy in light of risks and
promises of next-generation reactors.
Throughout, students follow current
German, EU and related global energy affairs. This course should be of
interest to students of both social and natural sciences.