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German Energy Facts: Energy Prices & The Coal Myth

There has been some recent misinformation going around, usually put out there by the fuel based energy companies that Germany’s energy costs are skyrocketing because of renewables. Of course that is not true. Energy price increases in Germany have been due to the increasing cost of the partial use of oil based fuels. “German Environmental Minister Peter Altmaier is concerned about the price impact of the transition energy on German consumers, but a study produced by the German Greens last week revealed that the cost of heating oil is now as much as two and a half times greater than it was 10 years ago. What’s worse, prices are expected to increase by nearly 50 percent up to the end of this decade, and they may even double by the 2030th” There has also … Read entire article »

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Germany’s Energy Win-Win

Grist points out in the wake of Fox New’s blunder on German solar what really makes the energy change program work. It isn’t just the move to renewable energy sources. They also bought back the power grid and made it a public asset. Much of the energy generation is owned by regular people. They own the solar panels on their roofs. The public also owns many of the larger renewable energy generation facilities. There is also far less red tape for adding a system and more programs that help people obtain home generation ability. In the US, renewable energy has all been at the whim of Wall Street. “Fox News’ gaffe about sunshine helps others paper over the real tragedy of American energy policy. In a country founded on the concept of self-reliance … Read entire article »

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More Innovative German Solar Projects

Germany is building a solar power tower on a former military base in Brandenburg. 252,000 panels will create 61mw of power. Volkswagen is installing a 33 acre solar park at their assembly plant in Tennessee. The plant will produce 13 gigawatts of power. This is enough to power the plant during off peak times or 12.5% of the power needed during full production. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are viewing this page on any website other than www.simplyinfo.org (or www.fukuleaks.org) it may be plagiarized, please let us know. If you wish to reproduce any of our content … Read entire article »

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Germany Turns Uranium Mine Into Solar Park

Up until 1990 this land in Thuringia was a uranium mine that supplied the Soviet Union with material for their nuclear program. Juwi energy has turned it into a large solar energy park that supplies enough energy for 5600 homes. The solar park was officially opened in October 2012. The project has brought jobs and revitalization to an area that was struggling in the 1980′s after the German reunification. The managing director of Juwi energy cited solar as being critical to keeping energy rates low. “Solar power significantly and permanently lowers the price of electricity at the stock exchange by replacing expansive conventional power plants and by producing electricity in peak hours. Prospectively, PV will provide low-priced clean electricity’.” Juwi Energy Website This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo … Read entire article »

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German Energy Change 25% Completed

Germany’s push to upgrade and shift their energy infrastructure to mostly renewables is 25% done according to RP Online. The minister in charge of the energy change program cited the progress and said they project to be 40% done by the end of next year. He cites much progress in people taking efforts to improve their energy efficiency and stresses the need to do things better rather than some sort of energy induced deprivation. Personally he found a new heat pump for his home would use 1/6th of the energy of the old one. These are the kinds of improvements that add up to less energy waste. He does talk about some challenges including assuring low income people can afford energy purchases and the need to find sharper focus in some of … Read entire article »

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Germany Opens Largest Power To Gas Plant

This innovative plant opened recently in Stuttgart. The plant uses renewable energy and stores it as methane, creating a power storage device. The methane can then be used as needed to supplement power generation. One of the challenges of renewables is to smooth out the dips in generation that can happen. Solar and wind typically compliment each other but energy storage is needed to be able to store excess power to take the best advantage of these technologies. The process looks like this: This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are viewing this page on any website other … Read entire article »

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Germany’s Energy Change, What US Could Have Had In 30 Years

What would have happened if the US had embraced president Jimmy Carter’s idea to evolve to better energy ideas. Carter installed solar panels on the White House (that Reagan ripped down) and urged people to find ways to conserve. It may not have inspired enough Americans to bring about wide spread change, it did inspire a few Germans. Then Chernobyl pushed the already growing idea over the edge in Germany. In the US the idea of clean energy is still a fight as fossil and nuclear industry companies put forth great effort to block change and raise doubts about the benefit of more modern energy systems. The biggest contrast is this mention of the Reichstag and the US Capitol. One is modern and run on modern renewable sources. The other still … Read entire article »

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Journal Features German Nuclear Phase Out In Special Issue

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, one of the oldest publications on such matters is featuring a series of articles on Germany’s nuclear phase out. These articles are all free for a limited time from their website. These articles cover a wide variety of aspects from the financial to politics involved and the legalities of such a massive change. With all the spin and disinformation going around about Germany’s energy revolution this is a nice opportunity to get some unbiased factual information in an easy to understand format. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are viewing this … Read entire article »

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German Renewable Energy Tax Lets Industry Off The Hook

Consumers in Germany are set to see their power bills go up as part of the tariff required in the German Renewable Energy Act. While this may sound like a bad thing, it is due to renewables being such a popular success in Germany. More units of power sold qualify for the tariff. Part of the problem is that consumers pay the total of all renewable tariffs while industries pay little or nothing. Industry uses 45.8% of the electricity in Germany while residential homes use only 26.6% of the power. Industry mostly does not pay the  tariff even though they use double the power consumers do. As more units of power are put into the power grid each day from renewable generation there are more tariff’s to pay. IE: 100 units of … Read entire article »

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MOX Protests In Germany

  Last week a shipment of MOX assemblies from the now closed down Sellafield nuclear fuel plant arrived in Nordenham Germany on the ship Atlantic Osprey. Owners of the remaining nuclear plants in Germany have been running MOX fuel in certain reactors against considerable public protest. These protests similar to the Castor protests we have reported on before play a role in the country’s energy future. For things to change, the public must be involved. The MOX fuel eventually made it to the Grohnde nuclear plant but not without a long, delayed and expensive trip.   This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that … Read entire article »

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German Energy Shift Sees Positive Results

The moment someone mentions shutting down a nuclear plant anywhere in the world the response it that it will cause blackouts. Germany was not immune to this claim by critics. Yet as the renewable energy push increases they have found their power grid became more stable rather than seeing blackouts. After Germany shut down 8 of their 17 nuclear plants they found their grid stability actually improved and was above average compared to every year since they began documenting the issue. Part of this improvement may be helped by changes in their power grid. Germany made changes that took the power grid out of the hands of four big companies. The grid is now being bought back by cities and regional authorities who originally owned the power grid but had sold it … Read entire article »

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Germany’s Energy Turnaround Mood Index Increases

The German energy mood index, a measure that tracks the economic outlook on the energy revolution in Germany is on the rise. The only sectors that have a foul mood about it is grid operators and politicians. The grid operators are losing their monopoly as energy democratizes and are under pressure to upgrade the grid to better handle the new ways energy is generated. Manufacturers and industry have a more positive outlook than they did 3 months ago. Energy efficiency is considered very important and that it gives Germany a competitive edge. Investors, manufacturers, suppliers and energy consumers are in agreement on this issue. The environmental benefits of the changes were rated highly while the “profitability” of the changes less so. This appears to be one of the biggest challenges to energy change. Energy … Read entire article »

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Germany’s Passivhaus Shows Conservation Works

Passivhaus (aka: Passive House) standard is a set of design standards that result in highly energy efficient buildings. The design concept began in Germany as a way to use less energy by way of the building design. The concept has spread to other portions of the EU and also the US. Building materials that seal the building, triple glazed windows and a controlled ventilation system help keep the home the proper temperature and properly ventilated. To qualify,  the design must use a maximum amount of heating & cooling. The design can be very modern looking like this home in the woods outside Berlin, or more traditional like this home in the US. This home renovation in MN turns an old city home into a passive house. Passive House is not just for new … Read entire article »

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Germany – Japan Team Up On Renewable Energy Push

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato recently visited Germany on a tour to both promote and learn about renewable energy. Sato is pushing for renewable energy to grow in the prefecture in an attempt to revitalize the region and find replacement income for the vast damage done to the area economy. The prefecture held an event in Dusseldorf to discuss opportunities for German renewable energy companies in Fukushima. One large scale solar project is already underway by a Germany company. The two groups have also agreed to work together on medical technology improvements in Fukushima. While in Germany Sato also toured  the failed THT thorium reactor to see the decommissioning process and  to learn more about techniques to dismantle reactors. Renewables are happening outside Fukushima with more projects coming on line rapidly. Japanese company West Holdings … Read entire article »

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German Village; 100% Energy Independent & Renewable

The village of Feldheim 60km from Berlin has become an unusual tourist attraction. The village’s independent energy grid and 100% renewable energy sources has gained international attention. The village has its own energy grid and generates power from wind, biogas and solar. The model of Feldheim extinguishes the myth of needing nuclear or fossil fuel for baseload power and the assumption that big utility companies are required for electricity. The transformation in Feldheim began in 1995 with a few wind turbines. Now the village has more wind turbines than homes. in 2008 the village added a biogas heat plant that runs off of corn waste and pig manure with a back up furnace that runs on lumber waste. In 2008 Feldheim decided they wanted their own energy grid. E,on refused to sell … Read entire article »

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Minnesota Sends Officials To Germany For Renewable Energy Tour

A group of decision making officials from Minnesota and Iowa went to Germany to explore the German renewable energy revolution as part of a University of Minnesota program. This was actually the second visit to Germany to explore their innovative energy programs. They reviewed German energy & heating systems, a hydrogen powered car, visited a hybrid power plant and a community in Feldheim that generates more power than they consume. The Feldheim community has a combination of a biogas plant, solar panels and a wind farm. The Brandenburg area that was visited produces 60% of their energy from renewable sources. Both Minnesota and Iowa are already leaders in renewable energy with Iowa generating 20% of the state’s energy from wind and began their renewables effort in the 1980′s. Minnesota has a considerable number … Read entire article »

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Germany Installs 1 Nuclear Plant Worth Of Wind Energy In First Half Of 2012

Germany installed about 1000mw of wind energy, about 400 wind turbines in the first half of 2012. 1000mw is about equivalent to the output of one nuclear power plant. This was about a 26% increase over the same period in 2011. Renewables produced 25% of Germany’s power for the first half of 2012 with solar power generation from homes almost doubling. Germany’s government support systems for home solar has helped expedite the move to renewables. Before Germany declared their nuclear phase out after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, the country used about 20% nuclear power. Similar to numbers in the US. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources … Read entire article »

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New Series Germany’s Energy Revolution

We are beginning a new series of articles on Germany’s energy revolution. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Germany declared they would shut down all of their nuclear reactors by 2022 and closed the oldest ones immediately. What most people didn’t know was Germany was already well on their way to energy democracy through feed in tariffs and other credits for installing solar panels or making energy efficiency changes to homes and businesses. Germany’s ongoing success and drastic change to how they generate and look at energy has been inspiration for many and a considerable problem for those wishing to keep the status quo in other countries. Our ongoing series will look at both the big picture of energy in Germany and also how it is changing individual lives and communities. This … Read entire article »

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Germany Produces 20 Nuclear Plants Worth Of Solar Energy, How Germany Is Debunking Energy Myths

On Friday and Saturday Germany generated the equivalent electricity output of 20 nuclear power plants from their domestic solar power capacity. The bulk of Germany’s solar power is installed on residential buildings or in open areas. On Saturday this solar power met 50 percent of Germany’s total midday power needs. On Friday solar met 1/3 of Germany’s total need on a work day. Solar works on a bell curve, adding power to the grid during the times of peak use that happen to be middle of the day. Germany’s current power mix is about 20% renewable sources (mostly wind and solar).  Germany also still plans to lower carbon emissions 40% by 2020. On low demand days Germany can produce 120% of their power needs and Spain can produce 72% of theirs. … Read entire article »

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US Disinformation On Germany’s Energy Situation

Two major US news outlets (AFP and Forbes) recently promoted stories claiming Germany restarted their closed nuclear reactors, was buying power from France and was “destabilizing”  power grids all across Europe. Bellona pointed out the impossibility of this as Germany can not just turn back on their reactors. The incorrect articles claimed the “grid operators” turned the nuclear reactors back on when the reality is that they no longer have operating licenses and would require extensive government approval to restart. Reuters was one of the few agencies to get the story correct. Germany manged their own power needs and exported power to nuclear dependent France. Germany did restart an idled coal plant but didn’t experience the considerable shortages France did. One factor cited by Reuters is that France attempts to power heating … Read entire article »

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Japan Protests From Hamaoka To Germany

Protesters (about 4000) joined hands to form a human chain around the highly controversial Hamaoka nuclear plant in Japan today. The protesters are demanding the permanent shut down of Hamaoka, the plant sits on a dangerous fault line. The plant’s reactors are currently on temporary shutdown by order of the government. Meanwhile in Germany the Castor nuclear transports are being heavily protested with people of all kinds joining in to delay the shipment. Japanese protesters joined in and spoke at a rally in the German city of Dannenberg. Kanako Nishikata and her two children along with an organic farmer all from Fukushima, spoke at the rally. A contingent of German and Japanese media reporters followed the group. Nishikata was impressed by the organization of the rallies and hoped Japan could have that … Read entire article »

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The Ongoing Nuclear Skirmishes In Germany

Large numbers of people in Germany continue to do everything possible to block the Castor nuclear waste shipments. The people bring tractors, ingenuity and improvised tools to slow down the train and to protect themselves from police tear gas and other tactics. Gas masks, goggles, home made riot shields and protective suits are common gear. One group set fire under a rail section causing it to become completely unusable. The Castor casks will have to be transferred and travel the last 30km by truck down the one available road. Below are more images and videos of the Castor protests. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective … Read entire article »

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Japanese Protesters Take Part In Germany Castor Protest

From the live feed at Castorticker.de Japanese protesters who spoke earlier at an anti-nuclear rally in Germany decided to go take part in the rail blockade. UPDATE: video below of the Japanese protesters speaking at the rally This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are viewing this page on any website other than www.simplyinfo.org (or www.fukuleaks.org) it may be plagiarized, please let us know. If you wish to reproduce any of our content in full or in more than a phrase or quote, please contact us first to obtain permission. … Read entire article »

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Massive Protests And Blockades Of Nuclear Shipment In France And Germany

People from all walks of life and age groups in Germany and France are protesting the Castor nuclear shipments from Valogne France to Gorleben Germany. Farmers blockade tracks with farm equipment and lifestock. Protesters chain themselves to the tracks in large numbers to block or at least delay the shipment to make it as difficult as possible in a clear sign that the public does not support the nuclear power policy their countries have thrust upon them. Over the 1000 km journey people wait as word of the trains trip gets out. Areva does not announce the exact date and time the train will leave in the hopes to avoid protesters. While some of the protest points are relatively peaceful others are rather aggressive clashes with police. The shipment this time carries … Read entire article »

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Germany’s Citizen Radiation Testing Strahlentelex, A Print Issue From 1987

Post Chernobyl people in Germany found themselves getting insufficient information from their government on radiation and food contamination. Strahlentelex is the citizen testing system that evolved. Peter Melzer was able to obtain a 1987 copy of the Strahlentelex paper. The paper went out periodically, frequently being sent by fax machine to consumers. The reports were highly useful as they explained in great detail what products were found to be contaminated. Listing a food product, brand, sell by date and contamination level. This enabled consumers to know exactly what on the shelves at the store were or were not safe. The report also showed people’s whole body count results. This gives others an idea what is going on in various areas and provides more information for people to make their own decisions. Pages … Read entire article »

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