German Chancellor Angela Merkel
At the end of last month the Economist published an article on Germany’s energy transition to renewables labelling it a “lunatic gamble”. This could not be further from the truth and in this blog we’ll explain why…
The article claimed that German plans to switch to renewable energy are risky, and yet the transition roadmap is based on the recommendations of an expert advisory panel to the German government, the German Advisory Council on the Environment. This body examined the environmental, economic and energy security impacts of a fully renewable energy system and characterised it as ‘climate-friendly, reliable and affordable’.
“I was born and studied in Bremerhaven, but when I left in 1996, there were no career opportunities there”, says Ronny Meyer.
BY the mid-1990s, the shipping and fishing industries that had traditionally dominated north-west Germany, where Bremerhaven is situated were dying, and there was felt to be no future.
“The unemployment rate was very high and anyone who had studied was leaving the city”, says Meyer.
Germany, the UK, Spain and France will install the most wind power capacity between 2011 and 2020 in Europe, new statistics show. Up until 2011, 15% of new capacity will be installed in Germany, 14% in the UK, 13% in Spain and 12% in France.
These statistics, contained in the European Wind Energy Association’s Pure Power report, show a more diverse picture than the early days of modern wind power which saw Denmark, Germany and Spain with a clear wind power lead over the rest of Europe.
Blackstone, one of the world’s largest asset management and private equity firms, are investing in the Meerwind Offshore Wind farm in Germany. They’ve written a guest post for the EWEA blog on why they chose to do this….
By: Sean Klimczak, Managing Director in the Private Equity Group, Blackstone
Earlier this month, Blackstone, leading investment and advisory firm, announced the financial closing for “Meerwind,” the largest German offshore wind farm to complete its full financing process.
The Meerwind project was made possible by the German regulatory framework for offshore wind, which is one of the best designed and practical renewable programs in the world. Meerwind is the first project to close under the recently unveiled KfW-sponsored Offshore Wind Programme. This visionary program, developed by the German government, is designed to help replace the ~25,000 megawatts of power needed as a result of the recent announcement that Germany is retiring its entire fleet of nuclear power plants by 2022 in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear tragedy in Japan.
Be it a flat-pack chest of drawers or bedside lamps, most of us have bought something from Ikea. And now, the Swedish chain well-known for creating a revolution in home furnishings is at the forefront of a hopefully incoming tide of companies to back wind power.
Ikea has bought six German wind farms, adding to its portfolio of four French wind farms purchased last year and bringing the total number of wind turbines the company owns to 52. The German farms provide enough electricity to power 17 Ikea stores, and in total the firm can now meet10% of its electricity needs with wind power.
The Financial Times reports that Ikea intends to make further investments in wind and solar power in order to meet its long-term goal to secure all its electricity needs from renewable sources.
“We are conscious of our impact on people and the environment, so we feel duty bound to act responsibly in all we do,” Mikael Ohlsson, Chief Executive of Ikea, told the paper.
However, Ikea’s green credentials were tarnished last year when the company was found guilty by French courts of building a new storage unit close to Marseille on envrionmentally sensitive land, Spiegel Online reports.
Ikea joins Google – another company that has invested in wind power. In May, the internet giant invested in two wind farms in the US that generate 169.5 MW of power, enough to provide electricity for more than 55,000 homes.