Articles from Germany

Green glitches in Germany; Energy angst abroad and confusion at home

In Germany, Weltschmerz is the sadness one feels when comparing the way the world is to the way it ought to be. German environmentalists must be suffering a profound case of it as not-in-my-backyard protests derail industry- and government-planned alternative-energy projects. Germany's Renewable Energy Sources Act was supposed to help the German Ministry for the Environment achieve its goal of renewables ...Instead, the EEG has met with widespread opposition.
12 Apr 2010

Wind turbine accident in Germany

local news stations say that a violent and unexpected gust of wind caused the rotor to take- off pulling the crane's boom and Jib with it, causing it to collapse. The boom, jib and rotor with its blades came crashing to the ground. The crane remained stable but the turbine components are totally destroyed along with the crane's boom and jib.
8 Mar 2010

Dirty wind-power war; How public relations can drive public policy

When industries look for government subsidies for money-losing propositions, a common business model these days, one of the most important strategic elements is to make sure you have a well-oiled public relations machine to keep the facts from getting in the way. Voters don't like to back money-losers, which means keeping them steadily misinformed or at least confused. Renewable energy industries - wind, solar, biomass, human treadmills - have a particularly tough job.
29 Oct 2009

Germany's renewable myth

There are much cheaper ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than subsidizing renewable energies. CO2 abatement costs of PV are estimated to be as high as $1,050 per ton, while those of wind power are estimated at $80 per ton. By contrast, the current price of emissions certificates on the European emissions trading scheme is only 13.4 (Euro) per ton. ...Moreover, the prevailing coexistence of the EEG and emissions trading under the European Trading Scheme (ETS) means that the increased use of renewable energy technologies generally attains no additional emission reductions beyond those achieved by ETS alone.
22 Oct 2009

German army stops wind turbines as security threat

The German army has identified a series of wind park projects as a threat to national security and blocked investments worth 1.5 billion euros because it fears spinning wind turbines will interfere with its radar systems. The Bundeswehr has launched an investigation into the impact of the wind turbines planned for northern Germany's coastal area amid concerns they could compromise air defense -- because they could in theory provide a shield for enemy aircraft.
23 Sep 2009

Deadly Flights

Massive wind turbines seem to be killing more and more migratory bats, prompting research into these neglected creatures and efforts to minimize the toll. ...The deaths have led to a flurry of research on migratory bats and their behavior. "The problem with bats and wind energy has pushed a lot of work that wouldn't have occurred otherwise," says Edward Arnett of the Austin, Texas-based nonprofit Bat Conservation International. Indeed, at a January conference in Berlin on migratory bats, wind farms were a dominant theme. Scientists are racing to figure out what brings the bats in contact with wind turbines, and what can be done to save them.
24 Jul 2009

Germany's Green-Energy Gap

The six offshore wind turbines that REpower Systems began erecting near Germany's coast in 2004 make their older cousins look like pinwheels. Each one has three 61.5-meter blades, which in a good breeze make one revolution every 5 seconds, producing 5 megawatts of electric power. Inspired by Germany's bold vision for capturing offshore wind energy, these majestic machines are designed to withstand anything the famously unforgiving North Sea can dish out. And yet, these turbines have never felt the spray of salt water.
1 Jul 2009

BP solar panel blaze raises concerns

Fresh concerns have emerged over the future of BP's alternative energy business after a fire broke out at one of the company's largest solar power installations in Germany. The incident on June 21 destroyed nearly 200 sq m of one of the world's largest roof-mounted solar panel arrays on a warehouse complex in Bürstadt, near Mannheim.
28 Jun 2009

Germany's $143 billion wind farms jeopardized by tight funding

As much as 100 billion euros ($143 billion) in planned investments in German offshore wind farms are at risk as developers struggle to get funding, jeopardizing the deepest emissions cuts in the European Union. Bochum's municipal utility expects its first wind park to be delayed by up to two years, Managing Director Bernd Wilmert said. HEAG Suedhessische Energie AG, a regional energy supplier known as HSE, had to go to twice as many banks as it would have needed last year to finance a 1.3 billion-euro North Sea wind farm, Chief Executive Officer Albert Filbert said.
3 Jun 2009

German savings banks eclipse Deutsche on solar funds

German savings banks are handing out more loans to renewable-energy projects as corporate rivals retreat from financing the world's biggest solar-panel market. The 438 savings banks financed 45 percent of the 5.3 billion euros ($7 billion) invested in solar and wind power projects in 2008, while loans from major corporate lenders including Deutsche Bank AG shrank to 0.8 percent.
4 May 2009

Germany seeks to solve key problem with wind power

German chancellor Angela Merkel has laid the foundation for a "milestone" renewable energy plant that answers the big question surrounding wind energy: what happens when it isn't windy? ...Some renewable energy experts have expressed doubts that the electrolysis will be as effective as planned and warn that the technology is a long way from being market-ready. ..."The technology is very elaborate and very expensive," says Dr Peter Schäfer of the Jülich research centre, which operated a similar hydrogen storage system powered by solar cells.
27 Apr 2009

Offshore Wind-Energy Parks in Europe Lose Appeal, Banker Says

Offshore wind-energy installations in Northern Europe have lost appeal among financiers because of increased costs and difficulties in building and running equipment miles at sea, a German banker said. Many lenders have stopped providing credit for installations that are anchored to the ocean floor, said Thiess Harder-Heun, a director at Deutsche Kreditbank AG, which has financed construction of about 700 wind turbines over the past decade.
12 Feb 2009

Project on hold: Offshore wind farms fall victim to financial crisis

The German government and energy companies have made a big fanfare about their plans to build offshore wind parks in the North Sea. However the financial crisis is forcing several projects to be put on hold, with smaller companies in particular feeling the pinch. ...While the big energy firms have deep pockets for the development of renewal energy, the smaller companies are feeling the pinch.
30 Jan 2009

Lifeline for renewable power

To make use of this clean [renewable] energy, we'll need more transmission lines that can transport power from one region to another and connect energy-­hungry cities with the remote areas where much of our renewable power is likely to be generated. We'll also need far smarter controls throughout the distribution system--technologies that can store extra electricity from wind farms in the batteries of plug-in hybrid cars, for example, or remotely turn power-hungry appliances on and off as the energy supply rises and falls. If these grid upgrades don't happen, new renewable-power projects could be stalled, because they would place unacceptable stresses on existing electrical systems.
22 Dec 2008

Germans to scale back offshore wind-energy plans, report says

"Many of these engineering problems have been known for years, but when it comes to putting them into practice developers have encountered difficulties, especially when far offshore and when the weather is bad," said Heiko Stohlmeyer, a renewable-energy financing consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, in an interview. "Enormous" challenges in getting equipment to areas of the sea where windfarms are being built and then servicing the equipment are presenting obstacles for the projects, Stohlmeyer said.
4 Dec 2008

German experts deem wind turbines lethal for bats

German animal campaigners are alarmed by the number of dead bats being found near wind turbines and have called for restrictions on generators in areas with high populations of the nocturnal mammal. "The bats are not only being clobbered to death by the turbines, but can also suffer from collapsed lungs due to the drastic change in air pressure," said Hermann Hoetker of the Michael Otto Institute for wildlife and the environment.
3 Sep 2008
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