Headline: Energy Transitions and Societal Change - News

Ruhr Region

Cities in Transition: Towards a Sustainable Future

While the cities of Duisburg and Essen in Germany’s Ruhr Region have a similar history, their plans for a post-coal future diverge: Duisburg is building on its industrial heritage and hopes to establish itself as an international hub for logistics and hotspot for green hydrogen. Essen, on the other hand, has developed a green vision for the future that centres on sustainable enterprises and cultural events. Both pathways present their own opportunities and challenges.

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Household Survey

Jordanians Keen to Harness Community Benefits of Energy Transition

Jordan has outstanding potential for renewable energy generation. Government backing for the country’s energy transition was strong through to 2019, but has dropped off since then. A household survey conducted by the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS) shows that citizens want to see this change: 91 percent of respondents expressed their support for an expansion of renewable energies in Jordan.

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Hydrogen

Success of German Hydrogen Strategy Depends on Production Capacities in Partner Countries

Germany aims to become a global leader in hydrogen technologies. In contrast to other countries, its hydrogen strategy places a strong focus on promoting “green hydrogen” based on renewable energies, supported by cooperation with partners in distant regions. While this approach is likely to constrain progress at first, it may be the only way for Germany to achieve its climate targets in the longer run, RIFS researchers argue in a study published in Energy Strategy Reviews. At the same time, this means that the success of Germany’s hydrogen strategy depends on the development of production capacities in partner countries.

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Democracy

Increasing Participation in the Energy Transition: Making Community Energy Cooperatives More Diverse

Germany plans to meet 80% of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Following the amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2023, community energy cooperatives are set to become important drivers of a participatory energy transition. However, research shows that some population groups do not participate in or benefit equally from existing community energy projects. If community energy is to become a broad foundation of the energy transition, political actors must do more to improve diversity and gender equality within community energy projects and ensure that they become more responsive to members' preferences.

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Energy transition

Europeans Want Decentralized Power Generation and Low Prices

Although a majority of Europeans support the energy transition in principle, local opposition to necessary infrastructure projects is on the rise. What could be done to smooth the future growth of renewables in Europe? In a new study, researchers have identified the preferences of citizens in Denmark, Germany, Poland and Portugal. In all four countries, citizens expressed a clear preference for low electricity prices, less dependence on electricity imports, and favour solar power. Crucially, the study revealed that respondents were also willing to compromise and were prepared to accept trade-offs if these enabled them to secure more preferred qualities in the energy system.

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Climate Policy

Pivotal Moment for Humanity as Tipping Point Threats and Opportunities Accelerate

The world has reached a pivotal moment as threats from Earth system tipping points – and progress towards positive tipping points, accelerate – a new report shows. The Global Tipping Points Report, the most comprehensive assessment of tipping points ever conducted, says humanity is currently on a disastrous trajectory. The speed of fossil fuel phase out and growth of zero-carbon solutions will now determine the future of billions of people.

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Study

Europe Is Not Making Sufficient Use of Its Hydrogen Potential

To reach climate neutrality, Europe’s industry will need large quantities of carbon-neutral hydrogen in the future. Many European countries, including Germany, are planning large investments to develop and ramp up the hydrogen industry needed for this. Within the HyPat research project, a new study by RIFS Potsdam, Fraunhofer ISI and the German Energy Agency (dena) makes five recommendations to the EU and the Member States.

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Climate policy

Strategic Framing, Financial Support and Capacity-Building Could Raise Climate Ambitions

The world’s technologically advanced countries have called for the adoption of a ‘green growth’ model of economic development in international climate negotiations. But advocacy alone will not motivate countries to protect the climate. Policymakers should highlight other benefits of climate action, such as for health and food security, researchers recommend in a new study.

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