Humanity in all parts of the world is subject to climate change and faces the challenge of combating it. The effects are now more or less noticeable, so that renewable energies from water, sun, biomass, geothermal energy and wind have a decisive key role to play. For a responsible and sustainable energy policy, they must be taken into account.
Due to the almost inexhaustible energy sources, turning away from fossil fuels such as oil or coal should not be a real problem. Experts assume that the maximum production of fossil fuels will be reached between 2050 and 2100. An early switch is advisable because by then there will be no alternative to renewable energies.
What renewable energies are there?
Fossil energy sources do not last forever and complex formation processes are required, e.g., over millions of years. Wind energy, solar energy, e.g., with a powerful and ideally mounted photovoltaic system from Sunpower, and biomass are considered the most important renewable energies.
- Hydropower: Hydropower plants convert the energy of water into mechanical or electrical energy by means of turbines or flow and tidal power plants.
- Geothermal Energy: The upper part of the earth’s crust contains stored heat (thermal energy) that can be extracted and used for heating, electricity generation or by means of combined heat and power.
- Bio Energy: Biomass converts and can be used as electricity, heat or fuel. Plants store solar energy, which is released through oxidation, often combustion.
- Wind Energy: The kinetic energy of the wind can be harnessed by wind turbines.
- Ocean Energy: Energy stored in the world’s oceans can be used by various power plants. Development is still in its infancy, but has enormous potential.
- Solar Energy: Solar radiation is converted into electricity, heat or chemical energy through solar energy. For example, collectors can absorb solar radiation. Here, for example, it makes sense to use a direct marketer of solar power to take advantage of the associated benefits.
What is actually a wind tree?
It’s a forward-looking energy source that uses the wind in cities. For four years now, a so-called wind tree from the French company NewWind has been standing in the centre of Paris, on the Place de la Concorde. It has a height of 11 metres, a trunk made of steel and the branches with the green leaves are made of plastic.
However, hidden behind these leaves are 72 turbines that generate electricity without any noise through the support of the wind. This is quite sufficient to supply a 1-person household or even a small family. For this reason, you can even set up a wind tree in your own garden.
Since wind turbines with a height of up to 140 meters often cannot be integrated into the cityscape, wind trees could be a real alternative in cities in the future. They fit visually very well into rural environments and are also more likely to be accepted than usual well-known wind turbines.
What advantages do renewable energies offer?
For a sustainable economy, clear climate protection targets must be defined for companies. For this reason, the climate protection organization GermanZero and 30 companies are calling for better political framework conditions. This is the only way to tackle the climate crisis in the business sector.
Climate and environmental protection
An enormous problem with fossil fuels is CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, which contribute significantly to the climate problem. The development of renewable energies also makes us less dependent on foreign countries and corporations, since the energy for comprehensive supply can be produced in our own country. Of course, this also reduces import expenditure and increases value creation, which should be reflected positively in the balance of trade. In addition, new jobs are created, which should be very positive for structurally weak regions in particular.
The costs of renewable energies have always been seen as negative. Nowadays, however, the prices for a kilowatt hour are usually cheaper for large systems, so that smaller solar thermal or photovoltaic systems can be quite worthwhile. Moreover, due to the finite nature of fossil energies, a considerable price increase is to be feared in the coming years.
Further advantages at a glance
- higher citizen participation: The use of renewable energies allows for a democratisation of energy supply because about half of the renewable energy plants are owned by private individuals.
- fair competition: with renewable energies, there is an enormous diversity in electricity generation, so that there is automatically competition among suppliers.
- honest prices: The EEG levy is quite comprehensible overall, in contrast to the costs of fossil energies.
- Modern technology: Renewable energies generate numerous new developments and patents. This boosts not only the efficiency of renewable energy plants but also the entire German economy.
- ever cheaper electricity: The costs of fossil raw material imports are getting higher and higher in Germany, while they are getting cheaper and cheaper for renewable energies. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE) confirmed this fact according to a study.
- Modernisation in the boiler room unnecessary: Heating and hot water preparation are responsible for almost 80% of energy consumption at home. Within Germany, a large proportion of the systems are outdated.
- Stay mobile: Road transport consumes more than half of Germany’s petroleum. Crude oil is imported at high cost, so alternative energies make sense.
- Reduce adaptation costs: Due to climate change, adaptation costs are high and can be limited by timely action.
- Increase exports: It may be possible that foreign countries are interested in further developing current technology, so that new export opportunities arise.
Wind power and photovoltaics with their innovative and modern technology are very important. The myth that renewable energies cause no emissions at all should be dispelled. On the surface, this may be true, but the production, installation and maintenance of plants is simply not possible without producing emissions.
Nevertheless, this is only a fraction of what is produced by fossil fuels. Among other things, in the area of heat or the generation of electricity, the CO2 emissions are enormous. In order to achieve the ambitious climate goals, the switch to renewable energies should be made as quickly as possible. This would also make it easier to deal with any problems that may arise during the transition period.