Combine coarse and small projects together?

Can coarse and small projects live together?

In the fight against the climate crisis, we have to expand more rapid renewable energies. Why is the decentralized expansion?

In 2009, high-ranking representatives of companies such as siemens and financiers such as the reinsurance munich re were visible in a press conference together on television. The financial crisis was in full blood. The new consortium wanted to hit two flies with one stone: pump money into the economy and expand renewable energies. Overall was the speech of 500 billion euros. It would have been the bigest single investment ever. Prominent german scientists like claudia kemfert from the diw therefore found the idea good at that time.

Part 1: energy transition: talk about values, not just about prices part 2: the secret recipe for the burger energy: bankability part 3: how should we burger still "locally act"?

However, the press conference was only an absorbency statement for feasibility studies and pilot projects. The project hie derertec industry initiative (dii). German scientists had counted that only six hours of solar energy in the sahara were richly ranging to the entire energy requirement (not only electricity!) to cover the world.

However, it did not happen. And today is prof. Kemfert is more known as commuter words of decentral energy – d.H., solar and wind turbines are distributed overall instead of centrally installed, where the wind and solar constraints are best. At that time, many had pointed out that a solar module in the tropics generated up to 150% more electricity than one in the cloudy germany. It was inefficient to install solar modules in germany. A board member of rwe brought the criticism to the point when he said, with the right subsidy you can also "pineapple in alaska" plant.

Can coarse and small projects live together?

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Episode 4: can big and small renewables co-exist?

Today, everyone is rather agreed: climate change demands fast action. So we can not play decentralized and central energy supply against each other. "It’s not about the question centrally or decentralized, but the new world is now working on all sides", today paul van son, who led the dii consortium for years.

Let’s sign the little one?

But just in 2009, record volumes of solar were also installed in germany, and it was mainly smaller systems. This trend was underlayed or. Partially overlook. Best example: fruher has the pew charitable trust the study "who’s winning the clean energy race" released. That was the investments in "clean energy" logged according to countries. But the authors could only collect industrial numbers, and these paid plants only from at least one megawatt performance. For comparison: 1 mw of goods even for gas turbines very small, and coal-fired power plants have a performance of hundreds of mw nuclear power plants even 1,300 mw. But for 1 mw solar you needed about 5,000 modules – not so little.

So many were very many "smaller" options, during the blobe entering of a feasibility study for the mammoth project desertec managed in the day topics. In 2010, pew has estimated the investments in germany in clean tech to 4.3 billion euros. At that time, 14 billion had been ied for solar alone. The energy sector simply did not collect numbers for decentralized systems. The decentralized revolution had started.

Coarse projects have nevertheless sampled

Today, the world looks different. China is currently working on a global power grid and supported north african countries when expanding their infrastructure. Desertec was above all a german project. "We see a cooperation between many countries today – but first to cover your own needs", says van son. Father conne is exported to surplus.

A map from the desertec project. The coarse red square in the sahara shows the flat, which was theoretically rich to cover the 2005 global energy needs. However, the many lines between europe and north africa do not exist in size, and the project continued solar thermal in solar thermal energy, which turns out to be misalignment. Image: desertec foundation / cc-by-sa-2.5

This is obvious the hydrogen strategy of the federal government of 2019. Supercut grunstrom is to be converted into hydrogen. This "grunge" will then replace ol and gas where electricity alone grabs too short (ships, aviators, industrial processes, etc.To). While this can be done with renewable in germany, but gruner h2 facilitates the import of clean energy, which can then run not only via power lines, but also over pipelines.

There is nothing to complain about – hour germany is not a decade of net degradation. There will be no "excess" give gruntrom in this country. In the 20s – so now – will be on average about 2.000 mw on wind power (old plants) decomposed. Last year, however, only 1.Add 078 mw. In addition, the (mid-june still existing) solar cover hit the pv sensitive. Even if there is no explicit strategy: the republic is actually contributing on the one hand to a degradation at home and on the other hand to an import strategy.

Everything is on rough projects beyond abroad. But who kummert’s, if we got our energy inexpensively from abroad – and do not have to watch the infrastructure at home? The 2010 deceased mdb hermann scheer was commutations of the decentralized energy and rendered that coarse projects such as desertec could disord the decentralized energy.

And that happens: the cultural anthropology collects such examples such as the fight between the coarse project called marena and the burger project called yansa in mexico (see dominic boyer, energopolitics: wind and power in the anthropocene, free pdf and tricky business: space for civil society in natural resource strugglesto). There, the state energy suppliers comply with the burgerprojekt yansa to build the coarse project marena. Then the burgers protested against marena. The result: neither yansa nor marena was built. If we need both for the fight against climate change: why did not you support yansa to get marena? The case shows that the coarse players understand that they lose cake breaks when the burger produces their own energy – which is well feasible with renewable.

… The {energia eolica del sur wind} park faced amparo ied by mexico’s supreme court. In an uncanny {turn}, the project what found to have violated the rights of affected indigenous residents for failing to provide free, prior and informed consent.’in an equally uncanny turn, that’s amparo what then summarily rescinded and work on the park began anew.

Cymen howe, ecologics (free pdf)

We should not concise the conflict between coarse projects and many small decentralized systems in the global energy transition, but discuss it openly. The economic professor claudia kemfert in this context reminds that the pursuit of economic efficiency – after the lowest price – also requires its prize: "economic efficiency is at the expense of resilience. We see that today in the pandemic". So you have to find a balance between central and decentralized energy supply. (burger) energy on site increases the resilience, even if you are not always the cheapest source of energy. We need the coarse projects. But we also want to continue to have our small projects?

And if you, dear reader, dear reader, who did not want to see infrastructure for a renewable energy system in front of your own home tour, please consider: for imported energy, the workplaces are also abroad.

Craig morris (@ppchef) is the kautor of energy democracy, the first history of the energy transition, and works at the agency for renewable energies. Rebecca friday (@ friday4future) was the german un youth delegates for sustainable development and is currently writing their master’s thesis on acceptance of a co2 tax. Together, they moderate the ten episodes of the new english-language community renewables podcast.