|In March 2002, I joined a delegation from members
of the associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG)
on a visit to
Germany to look at that Countrys approach to the encouragement of renewable energy technologies.
Germany has had specific renewable support legislation for over 10 years
and more than 15,000
jobs have been created
many in otherwise economically
weak areas The country is now a world leader,
exporting technology worldwide.
Some regions now get almost a quarter
of their electricity from green sources and this total is set
to grow further as the country's nuclear power stations are decommissioned at the end of their
system for renewable energy:2 emissions by 2005
The cornerstones of German government policy for sustainable Energy are:
A target to double the contribution of renewable energy to electricity consumption from 6% to 12% by 2010.
DENA, the German energy agency is a company owned by the German
government and the
Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW). It networks the
various players within the energy sector and is set up with the aim of implementing energy
efficiency policy, promoting renewable energy sources, climate protection and sustainable
development. Website: www.deutsche-enegie-agentur.de
The Federal Association of Combined Heat and Power (BKWK) was founded in January 2001, with the power to tackle
climate change and to safeguard resources by supporting CHP and increasing the proportion of electricity generated by CHP. Website: www.bkwk.de
The Parliamentary Study Commission
on Sustainable Energy is a cross-party study committee of the Bundestag
set up in February 2000
for the duration of the parliament. Their final report aims to develop long-term scenarios and policy recommendations for the parliament, the central element of which will be energy
conservation, energy efficiency
and renewable energy.
REpower Systems, based in Hamburg, promotes the development and application of renewable energy systems. Specialising in wind power plants in the on and
offshore sector, services include the development, licensing, production and sale of technologically sophisticated wind power turbines and project planning for wind farms So far, REpower have been able to benefit
from the experience of producing and installing more than 650 wind power turbines worldwide, with a total output to a 400MW (see picture
below) REpower are looking to
the UK market, not only to sell
their products but also their know-how, to let local British
companies benefit from German technological experience
The PRASEG group next to a wind power turbine
Germany has led the
way in promoting renewable technologies. As well as fiscal support, planning policies have been
crucial to gaining acceptance and support for wind farms. Large numbers of wind generators dotted the landscape as we drove through Schleswig-Holstein.
Yet the State government has designated a maximum of one per cent of the
land mass in which such developments will be permitted. Communities in the area so
designated, and not just the landowner, benefit from such developments, in contrast to the situation in the UK where
there is resentment that landowners can scoop all the development gain. No wonder wind energy will
this year provide 25% of the States
electricity! Let us hope that,
with the Renewables Obligation coming into force on 1 April this year, the UK will be on
the verge of creating thousands of new manufacturing and engineering jobs, as in Germany.
The Renewables Obligation requires energy suppliers to meet 10 per
cent of their electricity requirement from renewable sources (wind, water, solar, biomass) by 2010. This and further measures that are beginning to come through, for example the Chancellor's announcement in the Budget of new
capital allowances for environmental technologies, could
lead to the creation of a whole
new industry: building wind and wave farms, solar energy arrays and biomass plants.
Prior to my trip to Germany I visited Solar
Century with the Parliamentary Renewable and
Sustainable Energy Group. Solar Century is a company of solar technology
designers and engineers providing technical solutions with the aim of creating clean
energy. They particularly specialise in photovoltaic technology which has tremendous
potential to make every home self-sufficient in its energy requirements.
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