Sunday, February 23, 2014

What happens in Germany will affect us all

Last November I came across an ingenious campaign by the German wind energy association in support of the Energiewende and wind’s essential role in the energy transition. This is the kind of campaign I can heartily endorse.
The campaign by the Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE),, was designed to influence the then ongoing negotiations between the CDU and the SPD on their agreement to govern Germany in coalition. Now that the agreement has been struck, it’s clear that BWE’s campaign was desperately needed.
Under pressure from the utility and coal industry, the coalition appears determined to strangle growth of wind energy in Germany. If successful, they will also delay the Energiewende–Germany’s transition to renewable energy.
As BWE notes in its campaign, wind energy is the workhorse of the energy transition in Germany–as it is in most countries where renewable energy is making significant inroads into conventional generation. The utilities and the coal industry understand this and that’s why they’ve had their sights set primarily on slowing the growth of wind energy.
BWE, as a wind association, is unique and their effort reflects this. Most English speakers translate the organization’s name, Bundesverband Wind Energie, as Germany’s federal wind energy association. Unfortunately, this translation, while literally correct, doesn’t capture the difference between BWE and trade associations in the English-speaking world.

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