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(Spiegel)   The German subsidies in alternative energy sources had unintended consequences   ( spiegel.de) divider line
    More: Scary, Germans, energy production, unintended consequences, German Energy, environmental movement, subsidies, SPIEGEL, chiefs  
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5095 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 Nov 2012 at 9:43 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-11-19 10:15:16 AM  
2 votes:
The article is calling attention to the fact that the public really only sees us scientists working on one part of the energy problem triangle: power generation. In order to truly address our energy needs, we also need effective technologies for energy storage and energy transport.

Green energy subsidies have been doing a great job in getting energy generation infrastructure in place, now it's time for the storage and transport technologies to step up. Once we have an effective way to store energy, then sporadic, inconsistent generation is no longer a problem.

We can't let naysayers block renewable energy projects by harping on the inconsistent generation, not when some really good storage options are starting to come up.
2012-11-19 10:51:07 AM  
1 vote:

FarkedOver: FTFA:

When a new wind farm is opened and we're told how many thousands of households it can supply with electricity, that number applies to only a quarter of our demand. In Germany, 75 percent of electricity goes to industry, for which a secure supply -- that is, at every second, and with constant voltage -- is indispensable.

Fark it, if you and your neighbors lose power BIG FARKING DEAL! WHO CARES!? A business loses power!! OH NO!! GOD NO!! THINK OF THE BUSINESSES!

Everything is not about business. The sooner we as a people come to understand that, the better off we will be in the long run.

Is "Oh no think of the businesses!" the new "Oh no think of the children!"?

"Oh, no. Think of the economy of our entire country."

Yeah, it is a big deal. When 28.6% of your economy has to shut down randomly for unknown amounts of time due to brown-outs and black-outs, it is very huge deal.
2012-11-19 10:48:29 AM  
1 vote:

FarkedOver: yousaywut: Well aware I am also aware that if power fluctuates too often the back-ups get overwhelmed and shut down and in some of the more robust industries that could mean the end of the city in which they are built. I am definitely not refering to shopping malls here. Stable consistant energy is one of the factors into how production factories are built.

Just an extreme example of why having too much and then not enough energy on a grid can be extremely devestating.

Well, I am referring to shopping malls. When it comes to vital industry that has to do with the public good I am cool with that. When it comes to padding some assholes wallet at the expense of the public, i am not cool with that.

Too often the burden falls on the working class. It must end.

Shopping malls aren't as much a thing in most of the EU as they are in the US.

You also seem to be comparing US labor conditions to those in Germany, a country where one of the two main political parties actually is a borderline socialist party (and not long ago was an actual socialist party).
2012-11-19 10:34:59 AM  
1 vote:
I wonder if it ever occurred to this guy that you actually CAN turn solar panels off if they're generating too much power. Storage is a key system component, of course... but from TFA it sounds like the grid infrastructure hasn't kept up either.

mrshowrules: Super capacitors have great potential. They are lossless.

They are not lossless. They also have great power density but really poor energy density. You're actually much better off with a plain old battery.

Robo Beat: Just fire up the boilers and let the smoke drift east into Poland.

Dammit, what the hell is it with Germany and Poland anyway? Sheesh.
2012-11-19 10:00:19 AM  
1 vote:

actualhuman: JerkStore: Interesting that the Germans consider a nuclear power plant to be "conventional."

In the sense that it supplies most of their power now, yeah.

Modern Nuclear Power is safe and actually very clean, we have in the past already produced most of the nuclear waste that we ever will.

Nuclear will get even better once more Thorium based plants go online, they also have the side effect of not producing ANY weapons grade material whatsoever.
2012-11-19 09:36:25 AM  
1 vote:
I'm no EE, but it sounds like one of the problems is storing energy when there is a surplus. Flywheels and chemical storage come to mind.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/03/beacon-power-completing-constructi o n-of-20-megawatt-flywheel-pla/
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