Renewable energy is the solution to every single one of our energy dependency problems. One of the countries that have succeeded in achieving a big number of impressive goals and creating one of the most amazing renewable energy grids is Germany.
Germany is ranked #1 worldwide in this field. Its enormous success in producing clean, cheap and safe energy has led many analysts to call Germany “The world’s first major renewable energy economy”. Let’s take a look at the structure, facilities and type of renewable energy that placed Germany on the top of the aforementioned list.
The overall electricity production in the beginning of the current century was not that high. In fact, in 2000, the net energy generation was around 6.3%. 14 years later, in 2014, this percentage was launched to 30%.
Wind is, naturally, one of the main sources of alternative energy in Germany. The total capacity is constantly increasing, with it reaching the amazing 32.3 MW (megawatts, 1 MW = 1 million watts) in 2013 alone. There are, currently, around 22 thousand wind turbines installed and maintained in various parts of Germany. The plan is to expand the grid even further and also create new methods to transfer energy to the southern industrial parts of the country sufficiently and fast.
Solar plants are also extremely common. It should come as no surprise that in July, 2012, Germany set a new world record by producing 29.7 GW of electricity. The significant drop in the price of solar panels installation and maintenance has helped the expansion of the solar energy market. From 2006 to 2011, the average price of a photovoltaic system has reduced by about 50%.
Hydroelectricity is another form of renewable energy, not as popular as the previous two. It is energy produced when natural flowing water moves generator parts, allowing it to produce energy. It is a vital part of the overall energy production of Germany, offering a great number of job opportunities. According to a recent study, hydroelectricity plants employed 9.400 people in 2007. This number is expected to have increased since then.
Geothermal energy storage facilities are starting to operate lately, especially after a new energy law that offers a great financial aid to companies willing to invest and manufacture this type of plants.
The main reason of Germany’s unprecedented success in the field of alternative energy is the excellent planning and support that both the government and energy officials are offering to the companies operating in the country. There are numerous financial measures that create advantages and offer a strong motive for businessmen and corporation to invest money and also own renewable energy plants.
This is an excellent example of what meticulous planning and flawless cooperation can achieve not only in energy, but in every aspect of our lives. In our case, the financial and environmental benefits are huge. Every country in the world should adopt the methods of Germany and achieve the highest percentage of green energy production possible. It is really easy to, drastically, change the quality of both the environment and our lives with a few changes in our philosophy and the way we handle some issues.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.