Green Energy in Germany: Promising movements towards independence of fossil fuels

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Green Energy in Germany: Promising movements towards independence of fossil fuels

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 Pictures by:  Left- Agentur für Erneuerbare Energien;  Middle- Stephan Leyk; Right-Creative Commons licence by Dschwen                                                                     

By Andreas Horn

Andreas Horn

In the past decade different stakeholders in Germany have developed a promising dynamic in the field of energy supply through renewable energies. Encouraged by political incentives, many innovative ideas on how to cover the demand for energy in an environmentally friendly way have been set off. If this trend continues likewise the dependence on fossil fuels for the production of electricity, heat and warm water could soon be history. The three following examples provide an insight into this very promising trend:

The Combined Power Plant: Using only renewables to cover Germanys energy demand

In a joint project sponsored by the companies Enercon, SolarWorld and Schmack Biogas a team of scholars was able to demonstrate that a secure and constant provision of power by renewable energies would already be possible in Germany. To prove this they created a Combined Power Plant that meets the electricity needs of 1/10,000th of the country, meaning about 12,000 households. The core of this invention is one central control unit that links 36 already existing wind, solar, biomass and hydropower installations spread throughout Germany. In combining these renewable energy sources intelligently, it makes optimal use of their potentials. On the one hand the wind turbines and solar modules feed electricity into the grid as long as there is enough wind and sun. The electricity won out of biogas and hydropower on the other hand is used to balance out the fluctuations of the wind and solar energy supply or if this is not necessary is stored for future use. Through the use of intelligent control and regulation technology the team in the central control unit is able to constantly monitor the output forecasts of the different power sources in order to produce suitable schedules and control instructions for each plant.
Summarized, the Combined Power Plant is supplying these 12,000 households with sufficient electricity all the year round and therefore shows in miniature what would also be possible in the near future on a large scale: a hundred percent power provision for Germany using only renewable energy.

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