Germany is one of the 177 countries (as of July 2016) that signed Paris Agreement. In it, countries from all around the world have agreed to actively fight global warming by reducing their emission of greenhouse gases. These countries, quite literally, want to save the world. In order to do so, we don’t have to turn to unrealistic solutions and extravagant technologies; the simple way to do it is to juts use more renewable energy.
There are many sources of renewable energy: solar energy, where energy from sunlight is harvested and converted into electricity using solar panels; wind, which can be harvested using wind turbines (or windmills); tidal, which can be harvested by the turbines that spin from the movement of waves; wave, where seawater movement compresses air and spins the turbine; geothermal, where cold water is pumped into the ground and comes back up as steam which is used to power the turbines to create electricity; hydroelectric, where energy is harvested from the movement of water through bodies of water such as rivers, and dams; and biomass, where energy is harvested from chemically treating animal waste or decaying organic materials, but is only considered renewable energy if crops or organic materials are replanted.
One of the advantages of renewable energy is that it will never run out. That’s why it’s called renewable – because the source of the energy is sustainable which allows it to be used continuously. The energy that can be harvested from nature is potentially infinite. Another is that when power produced by converting the energy is used, there is no waste products, unlike non-renewable energy sources that release pollutants or greenhouse gases when burned through to be consumed.
Germany’s surplus of energy
On the 8th of May, all of the power suppliers of Germany, from solar, hydro, biomass, and wind plants, were providing Germany with 55GW of the 63GW, or 87%, of the power being consumed by the market. Because of this overabundance of renewable energy, the prices went negative for a few hours, which means that the power suppliers of the country had to pay the people to use the electricity they were generating.
According to Agora Energiewende, last year, 33% of the power came from renewable energy, and they hope that the number will rise when they launch the wind turbines. Agora has also mentioned that every year, the share of renewable energy rises every year, and 8th of May showed that having a power system that supplies large amounts of power from renewable energy works just fine.
Germany aims to achieve 100% renewable energy by year 2050. Denmark is already generating so much electricity from their wind turbines that they’re exporting the extra to neighboring countries such as Germany, Sweden, and Norway.