Germany forges ahead with ambitious renewable energy plans
By Bob Berwyn
MUNICH, GERMANY — It’s been a whirlwind week of travels here in the ‘old country’ where I grew up, but as I scan the news from back home in the USA and Colorado about the politics of renewable energy, I’m still thinking about what I saw as we flew into Frankfurt a little more than a week ago.
The U.S. Senate is playing politics with wind power, and presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he would do away with even the most harmless way to promote renewable power, the so-called wind energy production tax credits.
Meanwhile, even from 30,000 feet, the change in the German landscape is striking — hundreds, and even thousands, of power-generating wind turbines dot the countryside, in small clusters near villages, in lines along ridge tops, and in seemingly random clumps around some of the larger cities.
It all adds up to about 29,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply 8 percent of the industrial country’s needs, and Germany has been adding new wind capacity at a healthy rate. (more…)