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Free Electricity in Germany?

Free Electricity in Germany?

Germany has installed so much renewable energy capacity there were multiple hours in 2011 when it generated more electricity than was used, and utilities had to pay customers to use it. The European country has over 21,000 wind mills, and high winds on July 24th produced a surplus of power. Meanwhile some American politicians are bashing solar and other renewable energy technologies saying they can’t be implemented with federal support. They seem to be be very confused at the least, and just flat out wrong otherwise. The reason Germany has so much renewable energy is that national law has required aggressive construction of alternative power sources. Just five years ago, a surplus of electricity from renewables would not have occurred, but the forward-looking national law and determined workers have created a new clean energy ball game, one where coal power plants will no longer be cost-competitive.

Wind power capacity in Germany recently peaked at nearly 12,000 megawatts. There are issues with using intermittent power generation dependent on weather conditions and the time of day or night, but they might be addressed with new storage options and staggering consumption. Also there remains work to be done on replacing old consumer technology with new, more efficient kinds and improving personal behavior. Even more renewable energy installations are slated for construction there, and the nuclear power option is being tabled.

A model of energy efficiency has emerged in the Bavarian town of Wildpoldsried where they produce over 300% of their energy needs and sell the surplus each year for millions of dollars.  Some American politicians and their followers bash environmental policy as being bad for the economy. but clearly in cases like the small town in Bavaria it has been extremely constructive. (Even the United States Navy is going green, with biofuels and solar to save money on energy consumption.) Germany, Italy, Spain and China will keep moving into the future with national policies that embrace clean energy technology, while our politicians in Congress continue to resist the future and keep us behind when we could be in the lead. Make no mistake, the United States helped Germany rebuild itself after World War II with the Marshall plan. Today they are leaving us in the dust.

Image Credit: Carleton.edu

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7:00AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

This country will be hard to change the way that we get energy b/c there would be no money for the politicans to steal from and if they can't make a profit they won't go for it.
If they took a vote from the people in this country they would see that we all want to go with wind and solar. It is up to us to take care of this planet, the way that congress has it is so dirty but they are such theives and if they can't make money off of the oil that comes into this country they won't go for it....remember that the republicans don't want anything to do with helping this country, they only want to help themselves and the rich keep getting richer and the poor can go to hell.....

2:25PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

Great!! Now if the US would wake up....

2:03AM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

It is nice to have free electricity at home.

12:46AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

When I first arrived in BC some 15 years' ago, I used to think it was fairly charming that I felt I had stepped back in time.
During the course of these years I have simply become impatient. Canada is a democratic country so we have the politicians we voted for ......... so it's really up to the public to move ahead with new ideas, with educating themselves and with creativity.

9:28PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

nice

2:39PM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

nice, we should be doing this.

3:58AM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

i am german and we know not much about that
officially we get 23% out of all renewablle energies

3:34AM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

Hope more countries follow this example.

10:43PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

OK~sorry to be a debbie downer....but where does the $$ come from to build these wind power generators? What happens when the wind does not blow so hard? Here in the US the big wind turbines kill birds and some people are upset about that, not to mention the sound they produce and the marring of the landscape.

All I am bringing up are issues I have heard.
I don't believe there is a perfect answer and anythime I hear the word "FREE" I immediately question what that means.

Selling their electricity means they are capitalists and I guess I am just confused about free & green and ..... yeah thats may thought on this. thanks for reading it and try to think about what I have posted but please try not to attack me for having questions :) and an opinion :))

10:41PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

Why the F#@k doesn't more countries do this. Germany has proved it is possible. For 'God sake world " Save our Planet"

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