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World looks to Germany in the energy revolution

the people of Berlin seem to gravitate towards an environmentally conscious energy discussion. Bike commuters abound, energy efficiency and environmental concerns are a tenant of the informed public. In the relatively hot summer – 37 degree highs on average – the most noticeable omission from most building’s energy profile is air conditioning……..

Germany spearheads global renewable energy awareness Mohammed Alshoai   Saudi Gazette, 24 June 13 BERLIN – The streets of Berlin face a different kind of traffic than those of Riyadh: bicycle traffic, which speaks multitudes in a city cultured with environmental awareness, so much so that Energiewende – literally: energy transformation – has become a word recognized in every household and office building in the German capital.

Following the Fukushima incident in 2011, the Germans took an almost unanimous vote on moving away from nuclear energy and promoting renewables. This vote has lead to a consensus on nuclear phaseout, which has become a tenant of Energiewende, emphasized by the high public tension surrounding nuclear energy.

text-renw-Germany

Rainer Baake, currently the director of Agora Energiewende and formerly State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety said at a roundtable: “Nobody wants to get back into nuclear. It is very clear that everybody wants to expand on renewables.” Renewable energy is an economic, environmental and political concern in Germany, currently emphasized by their upcoming elections in September. The main sources of renewable energy in Germany are wind power, solar and photovoltaic cells, collectively making up between 23 and 25 percent of the European nation’s energy structure, according to Agora Energiewende, along with several government organizations in Berlin.
One current issue being discussed on a political level, Baake said, is the expansion of Germany’s grid system versus a capacity market bent on storing energy for low peak production times and high consumption seasons, particularly in Germany’s cold winters.

“Grids are much more important than storage,” Baake said, adding that it is a much more affordable option, where heating in winter attributes a peak demand of 80 gigawatts. Baake added that the price per megawatt has gone significantly down from €90 to €100 in 1998 to approximately €30 to €50 today.

The issue of storage in Germany’s capacity market comes from its high demand on heating in the cold winter, where production is low due in part to reduced solar power generation. However, Germany’s electricity supply is currently one of the steadiest and most reliable in the world.  You always have to look at the conditions of a country. We can not compare our need to remote areas, so in this country, the system of reliability is actually one of the world’s most stable power systems; electricity is interrupted only an average of 14 minutes (per year),” Baake said

At the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Michaela Spaeth, Head of Division of International Energy Policy and EU Energy Policy, listed four challenges on renewable energy in Germany. The foremost challenge, fluctuating supply, is being addressed in the debate for a storage market, while being interlinked to the second challenge: adoption of the grid, where plans are being drafted to add length to the existing grid nationwide and possibly tie the grid with those of neighboring EU nations.The third and fourth challenges, reforming the energy system and promoting energy efficiency, are being addressed with plans to completely restructure the energy system by 2050 and by a rise in renewable energy production from approximately five percent in 2006 to over 23 percent in 2013……… With discussions on energy transformation in Germany focused on nuclear phase out, grid expansion and storage, the people of Berlin seem to gravitate towards an environmentally conscious energy discussion. Bike commuters abound, energy efficiency and environmental concerns are a tenant of the informed public. In the relatively hot summer – 37 degree highs on average – the most noticeable omission from most building’s energy profile is air conditioning……..

With investments in renewable energy estimated to reach €20 billion in 2022 and federal requirements speeding up authorization and planning for this energy transformation from 10 years down to only four years, Germany’s diversified energy market is becoming a reality every day.But economic, environmental and geopolitical discussions need not stand as evidence of this shift in the energy sector’s status quo; a quick walk through Berlin and a look at its bicycle traffic speaks of a city ready for a more sustainable future.http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130625171174

June 25, 2013 - Posted by | Germany, renewable

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