A Breath of Fresh Air for German Energy

8 Jun

Last week, I presented Germany’s planned nuclear phaseout. As the German government intends to replace nuclear energy by energy from renewable sources, I decided to illuminate how this ambitious goal can be achieved. This week, I focused on, according to renewable energy expert Patrick Kenji Takahashi, who I will refer to in more detail later on,  “the most cost effective of all the renewables”: the wind energy.

According to an article from the Environment News Service, Germany does not only plan to abolish the usage of nuclear energy, it furthermore gave out the objective to reduce its CO2 emission by 40% and double its use of renewable energies by 2022. The same article also states that currently, 370.000 people work in the field of renewable energies. And the experts are agreed what is the strongest force in this strikingly important economic sector: guess what, it is the wind energy again.

“The Highest Potential”

Katherina Reiche is a CDU- MoP and parliamentarian Secretary of State in the Ministry of Environment (BMU). In this interview with the Focus magazine, she depicts the importance of wind energy for the German goals and says it has “without a doubt the highest potential”.  Check out the BMU’s website if you want to have more information on that subject. There you can find out that “the share of wind power in electricity generation is to increase to 25 percent by 2025, based on today’s electricity consumption. This step alone would reduce [the German] carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent”.

Discover New Fields

Politician Reiche especially points to the great opportunities given by the “Offshore” technology. Installing the wind turbines out in the ocean expects a higher output as the winds out there are “stronger and steadier”. Therefore, according to the BMU webpage, the share of energy coming from offshore facilities is with 15% even supposed to exceed the 10% share of onshore energy by 2025. To see how this looks like, have a glance at Alpha Ventus. It is an Offshore windpark in the North Sea and a real pioneer project in that certain area of development. It is now running for almost 2 years and providing a lot of important information about the highly sophisticated Offshore technology.

Get rid of “the old stuff”

Another important aspect in the progress of fulfilling the planned expansion of the wind energy sector is the concept of “repowering”.

As the pictures to the left make one sense, it basically deals with  using “the latest technology” in order to “improve the efficiency and capacity” of the wind turbines, as the World Wind Energy Association puts it. In other words, older turbines are replaced by newer, more efficient and usually

higher ones to produce more electricity without needing more space to install new ones.

 

A Luminary

During my research for this topic, I happened to come across this guy I mentioned in the beginning, Patrick Kenji Takahashi. He is a Hawaiian engineer and professionally dealing with the topic of wind energy since the 1970’s, so he can really be considered an expert in this field. This guy is 71 years old and still does a post on his blog “Simple Solutions for Planet Earth and Humanity” EVERYDAY! I read one interesting post as to the importance of governmental subsidization for the development of renewable energies. Although this one deals with Hawaii and the USA government, it shows how important it is to continue supporting the renewable and it can serve as an example for Germany how it should not be done. If you want to find out more about this stuff and stay up- to- date, make sure you check out Patrick’s blog regularly.

 

In my opinion, the shift to renewable energy should occur ASAP and I especially like the wind energy as it is clean and most of all, effective. I hope the government succeeds in achieving its goals and the complete nuclear phaseout becomes reality in about a decade. Next week, I will depict how another sort of renewable energy will be part of that story!

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