Mainstream media waking up to Fukushima danger, and Germany’s renewables leadership
The second energy event of this past weekend was uplifting and extraordinary, due to an extremely sunny weekend, half of Germany’s electricity was generated by solar power two days. The decision to close down and eventually shut all of Germany’s nuclear reactors now appears to have been justified
Germany’s Solar Success and Fukushima’s Crisis: Intelligent Energy Priorities, HUFFINGTONPOST, Vivian Norris 06/01/2012 Last weekend, events took place which should make us think about the future of energy on this planet. Firstly, radioactive bluefish tuna was caught off the coast of California. The radioactivity, though in fairly small amounts, could be directly traced to the releases from the disasters at the reactors at Fukushima Daichi, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
And more importantly, the public finally received some answers from those supposedly in charge in Japan during the accident. Former Prime Minister Kan testified that the ties between regulators and TEPCO was so intertwined, and the accident so profound, that he called for Japan to stop all use of nuclear energy. For once, it appeared that mainstream media paid attention and published both Kan’s words, as well as articles on serious concerns about the status of fuel pools at Fukushima. Experts and more fringe elements on the internet had been publishing good information for over a year. It is to the New York Times’ credit that they acknowledged the role that the pressure from these groups played in forcing TEPCO and the Japanese government to admit they had not been forthcoming.
The second energy event of this past weekend was uplifting and extraordinary, due to an extremely sunny weekend, half of Germany’s electricity was generated by solar power two days. The decision to close down and eventually shut all of Germany’s nuclear reactors now appears to have been justified, even if this two day solar experience cannot be easily replicated without major investments in renewables.
But Germany has chosen to move forward, in effect choosing to take
advantage of being the first country in Europe to do so.
Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy
Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per
hour fed into the national grid on Saturday, May 25, met nearly 50
percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs. The day before,
Friday, Germany met a third of its needs which demonstrates that even
on a workday, an industrial workhorse of a nation is heading towards a
truly renewable future.
“Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic
electricity,” Allnoch told Reuters. “Germany came close to the 20
gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first
time we made it over.”
And with new possibilities to bring solar energy to scale and import
it into Europe, Germany may soon see itself able to power much more
than fifty percent of the country, combining with other renewables,
with clean energy.
In Germany, Dr Till Stenzel, .. His private-public background has
helped him understand where Europe is heading in the renewable energy
He asserts that,
The advantage of using solar thermal energy technologies like in the
TuNur project is that we can respond flexibly to different energy
needs in the future — the solar fields can be configured to provide
base load electricity with energy production day and night. But with
increasing wind and solar PV energy generation which cannot be
controlled, solar thermal technologies also allow the shifting of
electricity production from times of strong wind and sunshine to times
when both wind and solar PV do not generate electricity, like an
evening with no winds.
Even Japan is building solar plants, with one located some 100 km from
Fukushima. Public opinion and demonstrations against restarting
nuclear reactors in Japan forced the country to operate for the first
time ever, with all of its fifty six reactors idle…….
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