GERMAN ENERGY HIGHWAY FACES OPPOSITION
A plan to better distribute renewable energy throughout Germany has been met with significant resistance. While nearly 25% of Germany’s energy came from renewable sources in 2013, the production of green energy is highly uneven—the North is soon to produce more wind energy than it needs, while the South is still heavily dependent on nuclear power. The proposed energy highway, which would run from Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein to Grafenrheinfeld in Bavaria, would help resolve this imbalance. In the South, however, a protest movement has sprung up in response to the plan. Opponents argue that Bavaria’s energy needs would be better met through the construction of new gas power stations or wind farms in the South, and point to potential health risks and dropping property values for those living near high-voltage lines. Politicians in the North, on the other hand, accuse protesters of trying to sabotage the nuclear energy phaseout. While a survey conducted last October showed that 84% of Germans still support the phaseout, the transition may prove rocky; last month, new energy minister Sigmar Gabriel vowed to cut subsidies for wind, solar, and other renewables. For the full story, see http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/07/north-south-divide-threatens-germany-renewable-energy.