The world continues to look for more efficient uses of renewable energies, as it becomes a genuine reality that global warming is very much a thing as indeed the fact that we will one day run out of fossil fuels. So, why is it that Germany are doing the opposite and actually looking to curb it’s incredibly successful wind farming sector?
Don’t fear, Germany have not suddenly become a suicidal nation whom are opposed to renewable energies. In fact, their decision to do such just highlights how sensational their fight for renewable energies has been. According to leaked plans from the German federal network agency, published on Tuesday in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the government has had to halve its original target for expanding its wind farms in the gale-beaten northern flatlands because it cannot extend its power grid quickly enough to the energy-hungry south.
In 2011, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel announced that the country will look to phase out the use of nuclear reactors by 2022 in favour of renewable energies, with many critics saying it highly ambitious and likely to be unattainable due to not being able to expand solar and wind energies quick enough. However, five years later and renewable energies have given critics a big slap in the face with the capacity of the power grid not being able to handle the vast supply of northern wind farms. Rather humorously, the state is actually being forced to pay energy companies to turn their turbines off in order to prevent the congestion of the power grid.
Lengthy protests about the construction of large pylons led to Germany eventually signing off an agreement to construct the more expensive alternative of underground cabling from North to South, a decision which has caused initial plans for the vast project to be delayed by one and a half years.
As expected, the state’s decision to reduce their renewable energy plans has been met by a number of critics and controversy. Many believe that the state’s decision to take what is deemed by many as a negative step in their renewable energies surge, will hinder the countries standing as a global pioneer for renewable energies.
Whereas, others who agree that it was a responsible decision to tackle power grid congestion claim there were a number of other much more logical decisions that could have been taken and would have been equally effective. “A more forward-looking way to meet the current challenge would have been to shut down old power stations, extend the grid faster or invest more in innovative methods to use excess energy to heat homes,” said Arne Jungjohann, the author ofEnergy Democracy – Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables.
Great work on the renewable energies front Germany, no one can argue your commitment to the cause in recent years. However, perhaps listen to Arne Jungjohann in future, he makes a good point.