Today, the EU is seen as a world leader in alternative energy efforts, notably
Germany's Energiewende to replace coal and nuclear with wind and solar for
electricity. The EU is also unifying member-state gas, electrical and transport
systems, liberalizing energy markets, and requiring more renewables. This is
aided by the new European Energy Union (EEU), formed in response to the
Ukraine crisis and Europe's dependence on Russian gas. In Energizing Europe,
we critically examine the difficulties facing these energy transitions.
We begin by looking at Europe.s previous energy transitions, each the product
of larger, industrial revolutions. Informed by this history, we then critically
examine Germany's Energiewende (EW) and EU energy policy. This includes
Throughout, we compare the German and EU energy reality to US policy. The
course should be of interest to students of either social or natural sciences.
- Roots in German society
- Technical, and economic challenges of building and paying for its massive wind and solar, and to
reengineer the grid
- German and the EU's continued dependence on oil to fuel cars and trucks
- German and EU natural gas policies - including their heavy dependence on Russian imports
- Germany's continued high use of coal
- And Germany's rejection of nuclear power, albeit a zero carbon energy source.