U.S. Energy Policy Should Take a Lesson From Germany’s Energiewende
“Energiewende” may not be a household word in the United States today, but U.S. citizens and policymakers are likely to hear more about it.
Germany already gets nearly 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, up from just under 7 percent thirteen years ago. That is no small feat. Germany is a manufacturing powerhouse: It’s the world’s fifth largest economy and third largest exporter.
Norway, along with many other northern European countries, has built a network of co-generation plants that produce heat and electricity from recycled waste.
It’s really not as bizarre as it seems. Norway, along with many other northern European countries, has built a network of cogeneration plants that produce heat and electricity from recycled waste. Referred to as waste-to-energy facilities, the process is relatively simple. Garbage is burned in a portion of the facility, creating steam, ash and flue gases. The facility collects the steam and uses it to turn turbines, which generates the electricity used throughout much of the country. The ash is trucked away to a landfill, while the remaining gases are either filtered and dispersed into the atmosphere, or collected and used for additional products like biofuel.
Apple owns the world’s largest private solar array. It’s in Maiden, North Carolina where it powers one of Apple’s data centers.
Using a video Apple posted, plus some information on its renewable energy efforts, we’ve put together a little tour of the solar array.
Via: SAI — by Jay Yarow V Apr 14
Coal accounts for a vastly larger chunk of electricity production than solar. But industry reports suggest there are more solar employees than coal miners in the U.S.
“America has more solar workers than coal miners,” declared a CNN report in late April that summarized a survey done by the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit research and advocacy group. The National Solar Jobs Census, released in November 2012, found that there were 119,016 “solar workers,” meaning employees “who spend at least 50% of their time supporting solar-related activities.”
The oil crisis in the early 1970s forced Sweden to embark on a quest for alternative energy sources. In 1970, oil accounted for 77 percent of Sweden’s energy, but by 2003 that figure fell to 32 percent.
According to the energy committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, there is growing concern among nations that global oil supplies are peaking and will soon become scarce, causing the price of oil to skyrocket. Committee members predict that a global economic recession could ensue, and Sweden is taking action to make its economy less vulnerable.