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Clean Break: The Story of Germany's Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn from It

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This book tells the story of Germany's energy transformation and what Americans can learn from it. How is the European Union's biggest and most powerful economy making a clean break with coal, oil and nuclear energy? It is something most Americans would say is impossible, but already 25 percent of Germany's energy comes from renewable sources. It is on track to reach 80 pe This book tells the story of Germany's energy transformation and what Americans can learn from it. How is the European Union's biggest and most powerful economy making a clean break with coal, oil and nuclear energy? It is something most Americans would say is impossible, but already 25 percent of Germany's energy comes from renewable sources. It is on track to reach 80 percent by 2050, and some experts say it could reach 100 percent by then. Germany's energiewende, or energy transformation, is really a very American story that revolves around self-reliant individuals, a responsive democracy, and a national can-do vision. The book tells this remarkable and important story in a narrative directed to ordinary readers.


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This book tells the story of Germany's energy transformation and what Americans can learn from it. How is the European Union's biggest and most powerful economy making a clean break with coal, oil and nuclear energy? It is something most Americans would say is impossible, but already 25 percent of Germany's energy comes from renewable sources. It is on track to reach 80 pe This book tells the story of Germany's energy transformation and what Americans can learn from it. How is the European Union's biggest and most powerful economy making a clean break with coal, oil and nuclear energy? It is something most Americans would say is impossible, but already 25 percent of Germany's energy comes from renewable sources. It is on track to reach 80 percent by 2050, and some experts say it could reach 100 percent by then. Germany's energiewende, or energy transformation, is really a very American story that revolves around self-reliant individuals, a responsive democracy, and a national can-do vision. The book tells this remarkable and important story in a narrative directed to ordinary readers.

30 review for Clean Break: The Story of Germany's Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn from It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Book

    “Clean Break: The Story of Germany's Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn from It” by Osha Gray Davidson “Clean Break” is a collection of brief essays that capture Germany’s ambitious transition from fossil fuels and nuclear power to renewable energy sources. It’s about a revolutionary movement known as the Energiewende (energy change) and the lessons the United States can learn from it. Writer Osha Gray Davidson provides the reader with a succinct and accessible account of Germany’ “Clean Break: The Story of Germany's Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn from It” by Osha Gray Davidson “Clean Break” is a collection of brief essays that capture Germany’s ambitious transition from fossil fuels and nuclear power to renewable energy sources. It’s about a revolutionary movement known as the Energiewende (energy change) and the lessons the United States can learn from it. Writer Osha Gray Davidson provides the reader with a succinct and accessible account of Germany’s energy revolution. This insightful 69-page book is composed of the following six essays: 1. Power Shift, 2. FiTs and Starts, 3. Skin in the Game, 4. An Ugly Sort of Energy, 5. 300 Meters, and 6. The Energiewende, American Style. Positives: 1. A well-researched and accessible account of Germany’s energy transformation. 2. Succinct and to the point. Conversational pleasant tone 3. Germany’s energy policies clearly laid out, “It calls for an end to the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power and embraces clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. The government has set a target of 80 percent renewable power by 2050.” 4. Many interesting facts, “In 1999, Germany had an installed solar capacity of 32 megawatts. In 2012, that figure was 30,000 megawatts—a nearly 1,000-fold increase in a nation that gets roughly as much sunlight as Alaska. On a sunny day that’s as much electricity as 13 nuclear power plants would produce.” 5. Lessons learned from Germany and what we can learn from it. “Decentralizing electricity was at the core of the Energiewende, Rainer Baake told me. If utilities had remained in control of electrical generation, renewable power would still be a novelty.” 6. Many practical examples of the on-going energy transformation. “Today, the Abbey is known as one of Germany’s most exquisite Baroque buildings. What isn’t widely known is that it’s also a vivid example of Germany’s recent Energiewende and how the energy revolution was built from the bottom up.” 7. Understanding German culture as it relates to energy. “The reason Germany is so far ahead of us in renewable power is simple,” said DG-advocate John Farrell. “Their policies are designed so that people have skin in the game.” 8. Understanding price differentials of gas, “Most of the price differential between the U.S. and European nations comes from the higher taxes, which pay for new roads and for maintaining old ones.” 9. Pillars of the Energiewende: efficiency and energy conservation. 10. Policies. “The primary reason for the renewable energy gulf between the United States and Germany can be summed-up in one word: policy.” 11. German politics as it relates to energy is based on scientific consensus of subject matter experts, “A dozen years of growing public support have driven all major political parties to endorse the Energiewende. If a member of parliament called climate change a hoax or said that its cause is unknown, he or she would be laughed out of office.” 12. The moral support to reverse climate change. “Renewable energies are nearly carbon-free, and like most Germans he believes humans have a moral obligation to reverse climate change.” 13. Each chapter ends with recommended resources (books or links). 14. Appendix includes three extras. Negatives: 1. Poor format. Too much spacing between sentences. 2. Drives home the same points almost to a fault. 3. It doesn’t really address in any significant details the biggest challenges facing Germany in this transitional effort. In summary, what a great Kindle Single. This brief book clearly conveys Germany’s successful on-going transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy. It’s no longer a matter of whether global warming is a scientific fact or not; it’s way past that, it’s about the best way to handle the task. Excellent, I highly recommend it! Further recommendations: “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” by Michael E. Mann, “Merchants of Doubt” by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, “Energy for Future Presidents” by Richard A. Muller. “Science under Siege” by Kendrick Frazier, “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free” by Charles P. Perce, “Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America” by Shawn Lawrence Otto, “Changing Planet, Changing Health” by Paul R. Epstein, “Storms of my Grandchildren” by James Hansen, “The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy, and Environment” by Chris Martenson, “Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith and “Lies, Damned Lies, and Science” Sherry Seethaler. I have reviewed all the aforementioned books; look for my tag, “Book Shark Review”.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Samson

    Short but concise history of Germany's Energiewende (Energy Shift.) "They are not problems. They are tasks." That sums up Germans' attitude towards the hurdles in the transformation to Renewables. Hats off to them.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bob Leggett

    Book filled with strategies and examples This book presented strategies and examples on how Germany got to be on the forefront of the energy conversion to non-fossil renewables.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karol

    This is quite a short reading about the most important aspects of "our" Energiewende written by an "outsider", which makes it even more worthwhile, as you get a feeling how all of this is perceived by the rest of the world. As a German citizen most of this is self evident and nothing special. Unfortunately most of the outside world doesn't seem to have realized how important all of this is. In the USA there are even groups of people thinking that global warming is a hoax, which is quite a bad ba This is quite a short reading about the most important aspects of "our" Energiewende written by an "outsider", which makes it even more worthwhile, as you get a feeling how all of this is perceived by the rest of the world. As a German citizen most of this is self evident and nothing special. Unfortunately most of the outside world doesn't seem to have realized how important all of this is. In the USA there are even groups of people thinking that global warming is a hoax, which is quite a bad basis for any discussion in this field. It's quite nice to have something the Americans could actually learn from us Germans. To be honest, I think this "book" is far too short to really delve into the topic, but it is probably good enough for anyone who wants to get a feeling what the Energiewende is actually about. Furthermore the spacing between the lines and/or sentences isn't that pleasant for the eye, it kind of feels like a measure to fill up more pages. Definitely something a typographer should have a look at.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This Kindle Single was a very quick but informative read about Germany's Energiewende. It's quite impressive that the country is aiming for 35% renewable power by 2020 and how some analysts believe they could be at 100% renewable power by 2050. I was very interested to learn about why the Germany public decided to make a change to their energy policies and this Kindle Single highlighted how and why Germany made the transition to their Energiewende. I think it's remarkable how politicians and the p This Kindle Single was a very quick but informative read about Germany's Energiewende. It's quite impressive that the country is aiming for 35% renewable power by 2020 and how some analysts believe they could be at 100% renewable power by 2050. I was very interested to learn about why the Germany public decided to make a change to their energy policies and this Kindle Single highlighted how and why Germany made the transition to their Energiewende. I think it's remarkable how politicians and the public in Germany have accepted climate change and yet, some politicians in Canada and the US still argue about the science behind climate change. Germany has a better energy system which is becoming increasingly more efficient. They have a better public transportation system than Canada or the US and they have more green spaces and better urban design. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Germany and I only hope that one day Canada or the US start to put into practice what is working for Germany.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    While quite short this is a really interesting book. For those who doubt that the transition to renewable energy is just an environmentalist fantasy this book recounts the movement in Germany from its beginnings as a reaction to the Chernobyl disaster to the present where Germany is producing 26% of its power needs from renewable sources - wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric. If this is a topic of interest for you, I would highly recommend it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    A good read about Germany's commitment to moving toward green energy. It unfortunately gives short shrift to some of the bigger economic issues that have to be considered along with myriad other problems associated with large shifts in modern societies.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    As a "book" it's not really great but as a collection of essays, there are some really interesting facts in there. A bit repetitive at times, it's still great for giving me hope that it IS possible to move from fossil fuels to a renewables system. "It's not a problem. It's a task."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cian Moloney

    Five stars Informative book, simply written to make it easy for any reader to gain a better understanding of Germany's "energiewende" and the methods used to ensure the success of the program.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    A short read but highly interesting. I have read and heard much about Germany's energy transition to renewable sources but did not have any insight to the details. Glad I picked it up and am curious to go see some of the cities for myself

  11. 5 out of 5

    Panova Renata

    i ike to read

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Gillard

    Easy to read. Why can Germany do this and not the USA? Only 25% of their energy comes from renewable but they have created 350,000 new jobs. America needs to wake up I think.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Hilgendorf

    What Germany has done with their energy sector is incredible.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Cavanaugh

    More of a short series of essays than a proper book, it nonetheless contains important information for those ignorant of Germany's ongoing clean-energy revolution.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Ellis

  16. 5 out of 5

    ken newell

  17. 5 out of 5

    Justin Brown

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kris

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lesa A. Leach

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tabeen Hossain

  21. 5 out of 5

    Slashcard

  22. 4 out of 5

    nicole

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Dolan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Kimmel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tom Zsolt

  26. 5 out of 5

    Zonnestralen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Terence

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Fout

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Patini

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emil

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