Social Benefits of Renewable Energies

Energiegenossenschaft Starkenburg

Boosted by impressive technological innovation and cost reductions, renewable energy in a growing number of countries is now primarily considered for its social and economic benefits. Among these benefits are opportunities for local value creation, for responding to growing energy demands and for reducing conflicts over scarce water, which are aggravated by fossil power generation....
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Pitching Soil amidst Umpah Bands and Food Tourists at the International Green Week

Now that the International Year of Soils (IYOS) has passed, it is a good opportunity to take stock on the state of soil awareness. The IYOS channeled a great deal of energy into awareness-raising about the fundamental importance of soil for the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. This message was transmitted through many...
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International Energy Policy: Shifting Towards Renewables

While the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is now established as a global voice for renewable energies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is coming under increased pressure to modernise. On 11 November 2015, the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented the World Energy Outlook 2015 in Berlin. From the speech of the new IEA Executive Director...
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Unusual Suspects

From September 14-18, 2015 our first urban LAB took place in Berlin, 5 days of intense action and discussions with a group of about 15 critical urban minds from all over the world. The topic we tackled was ‘Different Urbanisations’, as in the role and limits of importing/exporting urban patterns, technology and knowledge between different...
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The Dependence of Sustainability on the Degree of Fear and Aspiration: Q&A with David Mitchell

In mid-July, David Mitchell, Associate Research Professor at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada, visited the IASS and gave two talks while he was here. While David is well known in academic circles, above all for his expertise in atmospheric chemistry, he’s had a deep personal interest in the Vedic tradition for many years...
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Pro-poor Adaptation in Practice

In the past few years, there has been a growing consensus that climate change adaptation is a multi-faceted challenge; it cannot be addressed by simple solutions. The terms ‘integrated’, ‘multi-scalar’ and ‘comprehensive’ have all been used to describe the kind of measures required, with the underlying message to keep it complex! All right, we got...
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Sustainability Impacts of Industry 4.0

Can you be an engineer and ‘still’ ponder the big questions of humanity? This question presented itself to me last year, when I was looking to take a new direction in my career after a number of years in classical engineering jobs. So, there’s no Nobel Prize or Fields Medal for engineering? Oh well. But...
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Germany and Brazil – Two Very Different Pioneers of Renewable Energies

This August, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and other ministers will travel to Brazil for intergovernmental consultations. They should seize this opportunity to breathe new life into cooperation on renewables under the German-Brazilian energy partnership. Closer cooperation with Brazil – a country that has been an important frontrunner of the global expansion of...
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