Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.
27 Jul 2018, 01:55 pm | Kerstine Appunn

Elephants and aliens - a cartoonist's take on the Energiewende

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Germany's coal mines seen from space, the talk on electric cars and Chinese-German battery production cooperation - CLEW's visiting cartoonist Mwelwa Musonko presents his view of the Energiewende and its many big and small peculiarities.

Mwelwa Musonko (@MwelxTax) is visiting cartoonist at the Clean Energy Wire CLEW in July 2018. Photo - CLEW. We are welcoming Mwelwa Musonko (@MwelxTax) as our visiting cartoonist at CLEW. Mwelwa is a Zambian comic book artist and founder of Foresight Comics who is in Germany for the summer after winning the Horst-Köhler-Journalism-Grant of the International Journalism Programme (IJP).

 

 

 

Germans reluctant to part with old fossil-fuelled cars

Illustration: Mwelwa Musonko.

Inspired by the rather curious fact that Germans are reluctant to exchange their old petrol and diesel cars for electric ones despite a 4000-euro government subsidy per vehicle.

 

Germany's lignite mines visible from space

Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.

 

Finding a verdict on coal

Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.

Inspired by the fact that Germany set up a commission to decide on the phase-out of coal-fired power generation.

 

Germany's cooperation with countries from the East under scrutiny

Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.

First a Chinese battery factory in Thuringia (and renewed interest of the Chinese state grid in German network operator 50Hertz), then the Nord Stream 2 controversy – Germany’s energy cooperation with the East is coming into focus.

 

The elephant in the room

Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.

On the all-consuming focus on immigration in Germany and Europe, while barely anyone talks about threats from climate change.

 

Jurassic Park

Illustration depicting a T-Rex before a gate with the sign Jurassic Park, German Lignite Reserve. Mwelwa Musonko.

In 2016, Germany's government decided on a reserve for inefficient lignite power plants, called Jurassic Park by some. The plants are mothballed for 4 years, used only "as very last resort" in case of supply emergencies, then shut down permanently. Utilities are reimbursed for lost profits. Now, some want to add more plants to start a coal exit.

 

Cows make it on to the climate change most wanted list

Illustration of a cow surprised to find a wanted photo of it on a barn together with photos of other climate change culprits. Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.

Meat and dairy corporations contribute significantly to climate change, according to a report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the non-profit organisation GRAIN.

 

Energy efficiency at the CLEW office

Illustration of an energy efficiency inspector testing a coffee machine in a cafeteria. Mwelwa Musonko.

@MwelxTax marvels over Germans' diligence when it comes to saving energy - including at the office.

 

Balancing the power grid

Illustration of a power transmission grid control room, in which an employee tries to prevent the grid from collapsing. Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.

Germany's transmission grid operators are often managing over 50 percent fluctuating renewables in the electricity system.

 

An Energiewende love affair - sector coupling

Illustration showing a wind turbine flirting with a gas tank, a heater with a biogas plant and an electric car with a solar panel. Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.

Germany's energy transition has a new buzz-word: Sector coupling. The idea of running energy-intensive heating, transport and industry on renewable power instead of fossil fuels will require the rollout of many new technologies and rules. The jury is still out on which technologies will be best suited to "electrify" the entire economy, as stakeholders present different solutions. 

 

Of citizens' support and missing the boat

Cartoon showing a ship sailing to sustainability island, guy with coal and oil as luggage arrives at pier too late. Illustration - Mwelwa Musonko.

A large majority of the German public supports the transition to a low-carbon and nuclear-free economy. Our visiting cartoonist Mwelwa Musonko (@MwelxTax) says some might miss the boat.

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