December 30, 2004

Germany's commitment to sustainable energies makes it home to the world's largest solar energy plant. "This is part of our commitment as a government, to make Germany the world leader in alternative energy and in taking action against global warming." It is now the No. 1 world producer of wind energy. Germany offers more aggressive incentives to install solar.

Germany really seems to be on quite an upward swing. Especially if the Euro takes over as some seem to think it will. (via Mefi) I wonder if I should be rethinking a move to Europe......

  • What ever happened to this thing?
  • I have energy envy. And we in the states will be up a creek without a paddle if we don't get on the ball.
  • Before Reagan, of course, the United States was on the cutting edge of solar research and implementation. Nowadays, the solar reality exists everywhere but here. What is decieving about this post is that it implies that Germany's situation is unique. The rest of the first world is doing more with solar and other sustainable energy than we do here.
  • This thing should be up and running soon.
  • What is decieving about this post is that it implies that Germany's situation is unique. True. I wish I had noticed that before I posted, I would have clarified. Being American, my ulterior motive was to point out just how far behind we are these days. I recall those cutting edge days that were so exciting and remember feeling like we were heading into the future permanently. I expected that before too long, it would be mandatory to have solar power, at least to some degree. Sadly, not so. But, of course, that was before we were fully aware of the S & L and Enron scandals (among others). We just can't fund something that will take money away from Corporations/government./sarcasm.
  • This sounds like it will work out great. Because when I think of sunny places, Germany always springs right to mind!
  • There are sure a lot of windmills going up in eastern Washington state. But not many anywhere else I've been. FYI: anyone considering moving to Germany should be aware that there is currently 10% unemployment in the former west and 20% in the former east. Der Rasen ist immer schoener...
  • I think you'll find the Orthodox Cardinal points are still accredited in Chermany, compote of the former West and East versions. Long Live Mr Cabbage! PS -- when I did German in high school, one of the course modules featured "die Familie Fuchs". They laid together, they stayed together.
  • My German teacher had us throw around a stuffed cloth pig named "Speck" to teach us vocabulary.
  • Good to see that some countries are taking the first step off the fossil-fuel wagon. Manitoba recently announced this.
  • Did you know that the CAPS LOCK key saves on the electric bill from having to use the Shift key?
  • It's nearly 11am here in northern Germany and it's so overcast that I have to turn on a light to read a book. There is no discussion of solar energy in this town! Last January I saw the sun exactly twice, for 3 minutes. But wind power is everywhere, and as the article says, there is growing opposition to having windmills on the top of every hill. And I understand their point: you don't get many natural landscapes in a country with a third of the US's population fit into an area smaller than Montana. If they filled the whole country with windmills, this would still provide less than 15% of the power. It's a point of discussion among students here: What's the point of protecting the environment if you sacrifice every semblance of open space (and still get 85% of your energy from other sources?)
  • I pay a bit extra on my electric bill to help subsidize the construction of windmills. (Where I live, it's so windy sometimes that you'll literally be knocked off of your bicycle.) Since the program started, they've built the windmills as quickly as they could, and the seem to be working well. Solar power wouldn't work here (NW Ohio) because in the winter the sun *never shines*.
  • sun never shines eh? Is that why you . . . voted For BUSH?!?! Is it?! Is it?!! Out with it! Why I'll get (*scuffle* *scuffle* *garbled cursing*) *wrestles self to floor* *drags self outside*
  • I read somewhere that Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed in the White House during his term, and that one of the first things Reagan did upon taking office was have them removed. Cuz, you know, solar's for pussies.
  • On a serious note, though, I've been very interested in the past year in the development of wave-harvesting energy generators. Totally renewable, scads of it available, no waste or pollution. Of course, living in landlocked Arkansas would be a minor problem, but still. Then again, there's always LUNAR. I hear the language is hard to learn, though.
  • petebest: I didn't vote for Bush, honest! I even went door to door campaigning for Kerry (in the rain, even! I'd say I went uphill both ways, but there are no hills where I live). So it's not fair to me that God is punishing the rest of the state. *sigh* :)
  • Because, as we all know, the world should revolve around me.
  • According to the theory of relativity, doesn't it?
  • One thing about Mountain Home, Idaho, (this is desert, dammit, the mountains are over THERE) is that when the wind isn't blowing, it howls. We've got forty miles of sage desert between here and Boise, and they just put in a huge landfill and are accepting garbage from out of state. (gotta love the sell-out from the local gummint) As they cover the trash, they could be putting in wind towrs on top, but nooooo, they're building gas powered electrical generating plants here that suck water out and give off a nasty Taos hummmm. That's the gummint, always thinking ahead. A fella here has just put in the third wind tower that he hauled up from California and refurbished. They're retired after so many years from CA power companies, and sold to private parties. Wish I had enough bucks to invest in just ONE. Clean power, and they're really not that loud unless you're right underneath. Neat to watch, too. Actually, generating solar power isn't the problem, storage is. And overcast skies still can produce lots of power. I stuck a little ten dollar solar collector on top of the camper to trickle charge the battery while camping for three days--one afternoon of which it rained--and used plenty of power for pumping and lights and didn't have to start the truck to keep up the charge on the rec battery. The beauty of solar power is that it's both non-polluting and passive. Sure, Portland wouldn't be all that great, but Utah and Nevada could supply a LOT of solar generated power. IN SOME AREAS IT IS POSSIBLE TO BUY YOUR ENERGY FROM 100% RENEWABLE SOURCES FOR SOMETHING LIKE 80 BUCKS EXTRA A YEAR. REALLY, SETTLE? WHERE WOULD I FIND OUT ABOUT THIS?