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If the switch to renewables is to succeed, the power grid needs expanding. But who wants transmission routes in their own backyard?

AGAINST THE CURRENT

Renewables yes, transmission routes no

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Bettina and Gerhard Boll have been part of the anti-nuclear protest movement for over 30 years and have been campaigning against the Krümmel nuclear power plant, which is situated just six kilometres from their home.

IN IT FOR LIFE

Fighting against a nuclear power plant

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Companies and consumers are bearing the cost of Germany’s switch to renewables. But large companies that use high amounts of energy have been exempted from paying the surcharge, leading medium-sized businesses to feel hard done by.

THE EXEMPTED

Who has to pay the surcharge?

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German environment minister Peter Altmaier on high electricity bills, the refrigerators in his basement, and his own energy.

“THE SWITCH TO RENEWABLES IS LIKE PERFORMING OPEN HEART SURGERY”

Interview with environment minister Altmaier

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Dozens of wind farms are due to be installed near Germany’s coastlines. Day-to-day life on these offshore facilities is so dangerous that the workers require rigorous survival training.

LEAPING INTO THE UNKNOWN

Survival training for offshore workers

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Today, one in five German households gets its electricity from a green energy provider. But few people know what “green energy” actually entails. Here are three common misconceptions.

IF I SWITCH TO GREEN ELECTRICITY…

... what comes out of my socket?

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In order to achieve its climate targets, the German government has advised homeowners to reduce their energy consumption. Most are responding by insulating their building façades with polystyrene panels.

PECKING UP THE WRONG TREE

An unexpected problem

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Most people view Germany’s switch to renewable energy sources positively, but they also fear possible burdens and shortcomings. Here are four accounts of the positive impact the switch is having on individual lives.

WHEN THE WIND TURNS

Positive impacts of the switch

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They are smaller than a strand of hair, yet they hold much promise for the future of energy generation. Scientists from Hamburg are researching how microalgae can be used to provide households with heat and electricity.

GREEN WALLS

Energy supply of the future?

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A five-hour power cut: a disaster for a big city like Hamburg. Such an event is unlikely, but certainly not impossible.

BLACKOUT

How will we cope with power cuts?

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New transportation concepts should lead to fewer people using cars. Jürgen Pietsch, professor of urban development and intelligent technologies, explains how we will get from A to B in the future.

CHIPS WITH EVERYTHING

New transportation concepts needed

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Hana Tefrati lives in a campervan with a solar panel, a stove, and various useful things she finds. She does not want anything more than that, and says she does not need anything more than that.

OPTING OUT

Opting out in a country that wants to opt out