Friday, July 29, 2011

Energy challenges for post-nuclear Germany

Friday, July 29, 2011
imageWind turbine in Northern Germany. (Photo: Gerry Hadden, the world)

Germany plans to phase out nuclear energy and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar energy.

History of Gerry Hadden, PRI's the world. Listen audio-up for full story.

Germany plans to shut down its last nuclear power plant in 2022. It is an ambitious timetable, but his plan is even more ambitious that to replace energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. If the plan works, in 40 years, 80 percent of its power from renewable energy sources get Germany.

To achieve its goals, hard decisions and costly investments must make Germany. Jan Espins, head of a renewable energy Consortium in Hamburg, Germany, says the Government must do more to encourage investment in renewable energy.

The country must also great changes in its power infrastructure facilities, adds Espins. In other words, everything had to the cable and the towers to transport new force.

"We have new capacities in the North of Germany and we have our load centers in the South," he said. "We need to transport electricity." "And at some point we must definitely more grid capacity."

It is a question of feasibility and money. Beefing up Germany's electricity costs is also over a $100 billion.

But it is also a question of acceptance by the public. The studied for Werner Beba, a professor at the University of Hamburg, renewable energy, love, German the idea of renewable energy. Things like power lines are what they don't like.

"For example, a strong grid from the North Sea Germany, southern Germany, energy from the off shore wind farms bring buildings are", said Beba. "And there are 8000 complaints against that."

It is even resistance to the wind turbines themselves: they are a light on the landscape, some people say. Others worry that they kill birds, and a growing number of people claim that they can make you sick.

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The PRI "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews and music from around the world. "The world" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston.

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