Yesterday, a ceremony was held in Lubmin, Germany to inaugurate the Nord Stream gas pipeline, connecting natural gas in Russia to Western Europe. The new pipeline is unique in that it goes directly to Germany from Russia without passing through any other country. The pipeline runs along the bottom of the
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on 30 May that Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy and Europe’s biggest, would shutter all of its 17 nuclear power plants between 2015 and 2022, an extraordinary commitment, given that they currently produce about 28 percent of the country’s electricity.
During the first half of 2011, Germany for the first time generated more than 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, a new report says.
While the country’s total electricity demand remained stable during the first six months of 2011, the share generated by renewable sources increased from
Heidelberg, Germany has been seen as at the top of environmental protection throughout Europe as it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15,000 tons annually in municipal buildings since the year 1993. Furthermore, the city developed a complete energy
Germany has been a leading light in sustainability for many years.
More recently, the country once again showed its leadership in the sector by ditching nuclear power and veering towards alternative energy, unmistakably and inexorably.
Despite recent safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to invest 1 billion euros in the next generation of nuclear power generation.
Saying that a moratorium on nuclear production “makes no sense,” Sarkozy said France will focus
Some people are cheering as they believe this is great news for the environment. I, however, believe this is utterly wrong for the reasons I will outline in today’s article.
Today’s major environmental problem is climate change (or global weirding if you prefer).
You might believe that given the importance of the Greens in Deutschland, electricity emits little carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases per kWh. This clearly isn’t the case as I have previously wrote about it in a previous article for my own blog.
According to the book Sustainable Energy – without hot air, a French kWh is responsible for around 80 grams of CO2 equivalent ; A US one, 613 grams and a German one, 601 grams.
As you can see, German electricity is around eight times dirtier than the French one. The reasons for such a fact is simple : one country chose nuclear over coal. (to be honest and fair, France didn’t have coal anymore, as contrary to Germany…)
I am not saying that Germany should push for more nuclear. This isn’t my argument…
The Germans are, to my humble point of view, taking the problem by the wrong end: They shouldn’t be thinking about phasing out nuclear as soon as possible, but to phase out coal, which still accounts for 40 percent of local electricity production.
Renewables are witnessing an exponential growth there, and these are great news. But replacing nuclear by solar and wind won’t cut emissions. On the other hand, replacing coal by those same energy sources would literally benefit everybody.
It is widely admitted that coal is by very far the dirtiest energy source. Indeed, The Economist dubbed it as early as 2002 ” the Environmental Enemy Number One “.
Nuclear might be a problem as safety rules and regulations aren’t as tight and as enforced as they should be. Its waste might still be a problem for a few decades (endeavors towards recycling it are progressing), but coal is a much bigger problem.
Did you know that it takes a ton of coal to produce as much electricity as a gram of Uranium ?
Germany is a model for all governments for their support to renewable energy sources. But what always puzzled me is their hate of nuclear.
Sure, it isn’t exactly the perfect solution as the recent catastrophe of Fukushima in Japan have shown. But as I stated on my blog: “ Nuclear isn’t the solution, but there is no solution without nuclear.”
As you might have understood, and to infer this post, I don’t see any antagonism between renewables and nuclear. As a matter of fact, I see an important complementarity between the two.
I look forward to reading your opinion.
The German government has announced plans to phase out all of the nation’s nuclear reactors over the next 11 years, with the final plants targeted for closure in 2022.
In a policy reversal provoked by the nuclear crisis at Japan’s Fukushima plant, Chancellor Angela Merkel,
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
The disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan convinced German Chancellor Angela Merkel that nuclear power would never again be a viable option for her country. Now Merkel has embarked on the world’s most ambitious plan to power an industrial economy on renewable sources of energy.
Google announced last week that it has agreed to make its first clean energy project investment in Europe. The company will be injecting US$5 million into a solar photovoltaic plant in Germany.
According to Google’s European Policy blog, the transaction still requires the formal approval of the German authorities
A report on Nasdaq last week suggested that Germany could produce 65% of its electricity with onshore wind if wind farms were erected on 2% of its total land. The statement was made by industry group Bundesverband WindEnergie (BEW), based on a commissioned study.
The study says wind energy alone could