Energy from coal is increasing in Germany, reports Nick Grealy at the Christian Science Monitor, despite its clean energy reputation. In the past 6 months, coal supplied over 50% of Germany’s energy, as natural gas and wind power output declined. The country is building new coal plants, fueled by lignite, a particularly dirty grade of coal. And it gets that coal from strip mining. Meanwhile, Germany has managed to be praised by environmentalists more than any other developed nation, as it builds more coal plants than, more or less, any other developed country. The reasons behind this trend are complicated. Germans import their natural gas, which is losing out to cheap coal. The intermittency of Germany’s wind power also plays a factor: depending on the time of day, wind generators there can make a lot of money by not running. The result is that wind power recently fell 10 % while solar power held steady. Perhaps one way out of this is for Germany to invest in General Electric’s new Brilliant wind turbines, which can store energy until it is needed, and ditch the dirty coal.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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