Germany Plans Renewable Energy Superhighway

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Think of it as the Autobahn of wind power.

Critics of renewable energy often point out that the best place for wind farms is often the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, the middle of nowhere is so-called because no one chooses to live there. And even more unfortunately, its the places where people live that are most in need of energy produced by wind farms.

Transmission and connectivity, it seems, are key road blocks to clean energy adaptation.

To retain their position as leaders in the clean energy race, Germany, a nation that produces more wind power than in any other European country, is planning an energy superhighway. The wind power corridor will run the length of the country from north to south, and will serve to connect Germany’s growing wind energy supply with high energy demand regions.

“Germany’s ambitious energy plans call for the extensive expansion of wind energy, especially the offshore segment. Plans to revolutionize the country’s energy grid and provide attractive loans for offshore parks clear the way for further investments in the sector. For manufacturers, suppliers and researchers, it is an excellent time to invest in Germany,” stated Anne Brautigam, wind energy expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.

Germany is banking heavily on offshore wind for its future energy supply, and over half of Europe’s approved offshore projects are planned for Germany’s coastlines. With the goal of 25 GW of electricity from offshore installations by 2030, wind could eventually replace 20 European nuclear power stations.

This year Germany’s KfW Banking Group is expected to initiate a special program for offshore wind, making EUR 5 billion credit available for the construction of Germany’s first ten offshore parks.

Germany’s first wind farm in the Baltic Sea went online on May 2. The 48.3 megawatt (MW) park – Baltic 1 – will generate up to 185 gigawatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power 50,000 homes. It joins North Sea wind farm alpha ventus (60 MW), which began operating last year.

Article by Beth Buczynski, appearing courtesy Crisp Green.

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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. ONCE an offshore wind farm is planned it is worth investigating utilization of the offshore area to extract maximum marine energy. The REWGD system provides such systems as it extracts Wave, Wind, Ebb/Tide energy together with deep sea cold water for air conditioning. The REWGD system leads to the following:

    1. “Construction Units” of modular offshore fixed construction support all systems and provide a dry deck for installation of different equipment for ease of operation and maintenance and solving the offshore mooring problem. The “Construction Unit” measures 17×18 meters, covers only six meters below mean sea level, and extends to the sea bed by means of structural columns at 18-meter spacing.

    2. Direct drive energy extraction to generate power at the required voltage and frequency without the use of expensive and complicated speed controls and power electronics or inverters.

    3. Removing the heavy weight generators of wind turbines from the top of the supporting mast to the “Construction Unit” dry deck, and using angle gear and/or universal joints for torque transfer to respective equipment, being a water pump or electric generator at the dry deck.

    4. Removing the generators of Ebb/Tide turbines from underwater to the “Construction Unit” dry deck, and using angle gear and/or universal joints for torque transfer to respective equipment being water pump or electric generator at the dry deck.

    5. Adding conic sections or shrouds to the Ebb/Tide turbine raises the water velocity above 2-meters per second and results in efficient energy extraction.

    6. Physical layout of the “Construction Units” with respect to the incoming wave levels power and minimizes power pulsation due to wave energy extraction during the 126 out of the 360 degree wave cycle. This maintains the average power output for the 126 degrees over the whole wave cycle of 360 degrees. For example, a 4-meter hi wave provides a constant average output of 76-KW over the whole wave cycle.

    7. A Deep Sea Cold Water Pump consisting of a pipe installed to the sea bed at 1,000 plus meters, where air is injected in the upper section of the pipe, to produce a column of aerated water column with smaller density than the outside water results in producing a net positive head at the pipe inlet and forces cold water to flow up the pipe where it is de-aerated and pumped as cold water for Air Conditioning.

    SYSTEM OUTPUT

    The estimated KW-Hour outputs per year are as follows:

    1 – WGD System per “Construction Unit” measuring 17×18 meters, 776,192 KW-H/ Year.

    6 – Ebb/Tide Turbine, with 2 meter cones 1,346,400 KW-H/ Year.

    1 – Wind Turbo Generator with19 meter diameter sweep 859,900 KW-/H/ Year

    Total Output 2,981,602 KW-H/ Year

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