Posts tagged “Germany”
The following guest article was written by Mathias Aarre Maehlum, an Energy and Environmental engineering student from Norway. He frequently writes on the topics of solar power and other green techs. Read more of his work at his site Energy Informative.
The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) has recently published a study that looks at the price differences in the solar panel industry in Germany and the U.S. By looking at pre-incentivized prices paid for customer-owned systems (third-party-owned systems were not included in the study), they were able to pinpoint the major differences between the two countries.
In the last five years, German solar panel prices have dropped by more than 50%. Some places in the U.S. are almost on par with German prices, but on average the study found a pretty significant gap:
Image source: Environmental Energy Technologies Division
Why is Germany planning to phase out nuclear power? In a nutshell, because they fear it — self-serving behavior based on irrational fear. They’re doing it because a sufficient number of German citizens have been convinced by the fear tactics used by the anti-nuclear lobby that their nuclear power poses a significant safety risk (which it doesn’t).
They will be removing from the European grid their low emission nuclear power exports while simultaneously increasing the use of fossil fuels domestically in addition to using more from the E.U. grid, which is almost entirely nuclear and fossil fueled. They are counting on that power from the E.U. grid to fill in the gaps inherent in their own renewable power. To meet their goal of 100% renewable they would have to isolate themselves from the European grid.
Nuclear Shut-Down Grounded In Recent German History
The German government surprised Europe by announcing the closure of its nuclear power program a year ago this week, immediately after the Fukushima disaster. Some have since reopened, but others never will. They all will be closed and permanently retired by 2022.
This seemed to many of us in the energy field like a rash decision, but it was not. In my conversations around Berlin this week, it has become clear that this was not a simple, snap decision in response to the Japanese tragedy. Anti-nuclear sentiment has a long history and broad support across society.
Rise of the Greens
That consensus against nuclear power has its roots in the Green Party. The Greens emerged from the rebellious 1968 generation. In the U.S. we think of a green party as solely an environmental movement; that’s a big part of the German green movement, but certainly not the only part. The early greens consciously rejected what they perceived as the ideals of both sides of the Iron Curtain that divided their country. They were both anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian.
The following is a guest post from Oilprice.com, republished with permission to R-Squared. For years many Germans warned that nuclear was the only way they could meet the energy needs of their population and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. Now that they have decided to shut down their nuclear plants, they are preparing to build new coal-fired power plants to help close the shortfall. The guest post below explains. —————————– On 30 May, in the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would close all of its 18 nuclear power plants between 2015 and 2022, which produce about 28 percent of the country’s electricity. Eight have now been taken offline, and with… Continue»
The following is a guest post from OilPrice.com. The subject matter is of great interest, as Germany is in the early stages of an experiment that is likely to prove challenging. Nuclear power advocates in Germany — including members of Merkel’s cabinet — have insisted that they can’t meet their greenhouse gas targets without nuclear power. Many have predicted that they will be forced to use more coal, and as this article points out they may end up importing nuclear power. Whether and how Germany adjusts to the sudden loss of nuclear power will demonstrate to the rest of the world that in fact it isn’t easy being green. ——————————- Germany – It’s Not Easy Being Green Forty-one years ago… Continue»
The following is a guest post from OilPrice.com. ——————————- In the Aftermath of Fukushima, Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Rise to 20 Percent The worldwide implications for nuclear power advocates in light of the 11 March disaster at Japan’s Daichi Fukushima nuclear complex, battered first by an earthquake and a subsequent tsunami, are slowly unfolding. Nations committed to nuclear power are being subjected to a relentless PR barrage by nuclear construction firms, who stand to lose billions if current contracts are suspended or, even worse, canceled. Despite the bland reassurances of the nuclear power industry that “it can’t happen here,” in Europe, Italy has canceled plans to construct nuclear reactors, while Germany’s Bundestag last month passed a resolution to close all… Continue»
A study on energy supply conducted by a German military think tank reports on the potential for serious consequences as oil production declines.
Introduction I got quite a few interesting e-mails and comments following my previous essay: Biofuel Pretenders. I probably should have mentioned – but I thought it went without saying – that pretenders usually don’t think they are pretenders and will therefore protest mightily at the characterization. A number of people who e-mailed assured me that they have really cracked the code to affordable biofuels, and that we would be hearing more about them soon. Another person who wrote to me about algae said that he has been following algae since 1973, and he wrote “In spite of all the hype and non-stop press releases, no one to my knowledge is producing algae on a commercial basis for biofuel production.” Ultimately,… Continue»
Will be the world’s first power station to produce clean energy, heat, and hydrogen capable of being stored for use at a later time.
Been in Germany today, visiting Choren. I will write something up on that trip soon. They have built a Cadillac of a BTL plant in Freiburg. Very impressive. This was my first trip to Germany since I lived there from 1999 to 2001. Things have changed. Germany is covered up with wind turbines. They must have been installing those things like mad. I plan to do a little research and report on that. One thing I noticed: The turbines always turned clockwise. I had thought they were reversible. I am traveling to the U.S. tomorrow. I am in Dallas on Saturday, Louisiana on Sunday, returning to Dallas on Monday afternoon, then off to Montana on Thursday (to see my kids… Continue»