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:: Underground pumped storage plants: Green power from the mines

Solar and wind energy have many ecological advantages, but also a big problem: if the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine, they produce no electricity. Then conventional power plants have to step in. An interdisciplinary team from the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Ruhr-University Bochum, both inGermany, is researching new methods to save the green power to bidge such times. Dr. Ulrich Schreiber (Geology), Dr. Eugene Perau (Geotechnical Engineering), Dr. André Niemann (Water Engineering) and Professor Dr. Hermann-Josef Wagner (Energy Systems) are developing a proven technology to store energy: the pumped storage plant.

:: Innovation Union: three new European research infrastructures on wind, solar and nuclear energy announced

Research Ministers of the EU Member States and Associated Countries, together with the European Commission, are announcing in Brussels today three new pan-European energy research infrastructures. A wind research facility is planned in Denmark, a concentrated solar power installation in Spain and a nuclear research reactor in Belgium. The overall investment is about € 1.2 billion.

:: When will the USA get renewable?

At national level there was and has been hardly any significant climate protection in the USA. The US-Americans are and will remain the worst climate damagers on our planet. George W. Bush was so much dependent on the US oil lobby that he wasn’t even able to spell the word climate protection – as he once told the German Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

:: Five theses for a dynamic transition to the new energy and climate protection era

What needs to occur for the worldwide efforts and advances on climate protection and energy change to earnestly gain momentum and truly get going? “First, we have to bid fare-well to the unrealistic notion that emission targets will lead to any real impact in the individual regions. Instead, we have to step into the shoes of our grandchildren’s generation, imagine quite clearly the altered circumstances they will be facing and draw conclusions from that perspective“ says Manfred Faustmann of the Austrian “Impuls-Zentrum IF-NE”, a think- which focuses on initiatives for new energies.

:: The world’s most successful politician in the field of solar energy is dead

In the next few weeks, Hermann Scheer wanted to present his book “The energetic imperative – 100 % now – How the complete change to renewable energies can be realised” in five towns. The book became his legacy. On Thursday, the winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize and SPD Member of the German Bundestag in Berlin passed away. Shortly before his death – together with him – I had the pleasure to present this book in his constituency near Stuttgart.

:: My Solar Age started with Tchernobyl

Until the great accident of Tchernobyl I was a supporter of the Atomic Energy. I trusted those experts that had told us their ideology of a ‘safe Nuclear Energy’. As a TV journalist and member of a conservative Party, the CDU in Germany, I was blindly believing the energy experts. But the disaster of Tchernobyl was a wake up call and eventually I started to make up my mind seriously. Tchernobyl was my ‘Damascus event’.

:: Three quarters of new solar systems world-wide were installed in the EU in 2009

In 2009, newly installed photovoltaic (PV) cells world-wide produced a peak amount of electricity estimated at 7.4 GW, out of which 5.8 GW was located in Europe. Similarly to previous years, this shows the EU's dominance, where more than three quarters of the world's new solar systems were installed. By the end of 2009, Europe's cumulative installed PV electricity generation capacity (existing and newly installed) was 16 GW, which is about 70% of the world's total (22GW). These are just some of the findings of the ninth annual Photovoltaics Status Report published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

:: Obama: America Goes Green

President Barack Obama has slaughtered a „sacred cow“. “There will never be cheap oil or cheap fuel again”, the President told his shocked Americans, to whom cheap energy had been a kind of human right so far. Over and out! What Europeans have been discussing for years, is beginning to dawn the Americans, too. Their President and the oil disaster have finally opened their eyes. All fossil fuels will run out quickly, get therefore more and more expensive and they cause the greenhouse effect or are as dangerous as nuclear power plants.

:: Roofs could technically generate up to 40% of EU’s electricity demand by 2020

With a total ground floor area over 22,000 km2, 40% of all building roofs and 15% of all facades in EU 27 are suited for PV applications.  This means that over 1,500 GWp of PV could technically be installed in Europe which would generate annually about 1,400TWh, representing 40% of the total electricity demand by 2020.

:: Fierce competition and declining prices pose threat to German photovoltaic companies

Competition heating up for German solar power companies – few prepared to face difficult market climate. More production will be offshored to Asia. Not every German photovoltaic company will survive. Success factors: Production volumes that are large enough to facilitate low costs and healthy market access – especially in project business – to fuel high-volume sales.

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