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© Government of Dubai 2024 | Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktum Solar Park

The solar world revolution

The wars of the last two centuries present us with this alternative: „Kriege um Öl oder Frieden durch die Sonne“

I wrote the book with this title in 2003. No human being can ever fight a war for the sun. It has a safe distance of 150 million kilometres from our earth.

The sun belongs to everyone. It cannot be monopolised. There is no RWE sun, no Eon sun and no Shell sun. That was the great realisation of the wonderful young man from Nazareth 2,000 years ago, who said in his Sermon on the Mount: “The sun of our heavenly Father shines for all”. It is the greatest promise of peace of all time. No warlord or other capitalist crook will ever come close to it.

That is why the solar world revolution that has now begun will be the first truly peaceful global revolution of all time. In one hour, the sun gives us as much energy as the entire human race currently consumes in a year. Astrophysicists have calculated that it is free, environmentally friendly and will last for the next four and a half billion years. And it shines for everyone without exception. The sun shines on every roof. What are we actually waiting for?

The old fossil fuel economy is an economy of death, as climate change is showing us ever more dramatically and drastically.

The solar energy revolution that is now beginning as a result of climate change will turn many things upside down: In Germany the car industry and the old energy economy, in Russia the oil and gas industries, in the Gulf States the oil industry, in Australia, China, India and Poland the coal industry and in France the nuclear industry.

Life punishes those who arrive too late. The German car industry has been aware of this for years. It has been asleep for too long in the transition to the electric car and is now facing major problems with a rapid transformation.

However, over 400,000 balcony power plants have been installed in Germany alone so far. Last year, we already had 54 per cent green electricity in this country from the entire symphony of renewable energies: from the sun and the indirect solar energy sources of wind, hydropower, bioenergy, geothermal energy and wave and ocean energy.

Everything we know today about the sun and its power is not new knowledge and the corresponding transformation could have been realised a long time ago with a little more common sense. After all, Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1915 for his explanation of the photovoltaic effect.

However, the oil, gas, coal and later the nuclear industries were simply stronger financially and prevented the transformation, which today could bring about the end of all life through the climate catastrophe.

I was in Abu Dhabi at the time. For a long time, no one there could have imagined that a flood disaster with devastating consequences like the one on 16 April 2024 could become a reality. It was like the Ahr Valley in Germany in 2021, where a flood disaster caused over 60 billion euros in consequential costs and a lot of human suffering. And that was just the beginning.

Now, sun-rich Abu Dhabi is working with Germany, especially Siemens Energy, and other industrialised countries to develop a sustainable strategy for a green solar hydrogen economy and is aiming for a 100 per cent energy transition. The United Arab Emirates advertise 210,000 hours of sunshine per year. Their path is clear: from oil to sun.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Green hydrogen – produced by renewable energy – is likely to play a crucial role in decarbonisation efforts in many industries. Siemens Energy is a pioneer in the field of green hydrogen, utilising Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology to convert electricity from renewable energy sources into “green” hydrogen and oxygen. No CO2 emissions are produced in the process. The hydrogen can then be stored for use in fuel cell cars, as an industrial gas or even as fuel for a power plant.

In Dubai, the world’s largest solar plant is already producing a lot of energy. By 2030, this Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park is expected to have an installed capacity of five gigawatts and will be able to replace electricity from several nuclear power plants.

In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, hardly anyone now doubts that the future belongs to renewable energies. They already produce a kilowatt hour of solar power for 1.3 euro cents.

At the 2023 World Climate Summit, all Arab oil states agreed for the first time to the final declaration, which states that fossil fuels are all obsolete and that the entire world, including the Arab world, must switch to renewable energy sources in the coming decades if there is to be a future. The rapid switch to renewable energies is not only economically, technically and ethically possible, but also urgently necessary. This change will also secure the jobs of the future. Since 2000, renewables have led to 12 million new jobs for the future worldwide.

The German Nobel Prize winner for chemistry in 1912, Wilhelm Ostwald, already had this simple realisation. In his far-sighted and important book “The Energy Imperative”, he had already written in 1909 that the “unexpected inheritance of fossil fuels” was tempting us to “lose sight of the principles of a sustainable economy for the time being and to live for the day”.

Ostwald: “These fuels will inevitably and inevitably be used up. Only renewable energies that can be “based on solar radiation” are infinite. The sun alone offers a regular supply of energy. Without the sun, there is no life. If the sun didn’t shine for just two weeks, all life on our planet would be dead. After just two weeks without the sun.

Over a hundred years ago, Ostwald was already convinced that this “energetic imperative” was more important than the “categorical imperative” of the philosopher of the Enlightenment, Immanuel Kant. Correct: “We can only ever reap what we sow”, a realisation of all world religions and wisdom teachings. Those who continue to rely on fossil fuels are creating the conditions for the next wars, including the conditions for nuclear war. Those who rely on renewable energies create the conditions for peace.

Ostwald’s ideas were taken up by Hermann Scheer, the world’s most important solar pioneer of our time and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, in 2010 in his groundbreaking book “Der energethische Imperativ – 100 % jetzt: – Wie der vollständige Wechsel zu erneuerbaren Energien zu realisieren ist”.

As an SPD member of the Bundestag, Scheer was the most important driver of the energy transition worldwide. Even before the Chernobyl disaster, Hermann Scheer was committed to the solar world revolution and founded “Eurosolar”. Like all pioneers, he was initially ridiculed and then fought against, but today he is celebrated everywhere as one of the most important visionaries of the future for a better and solar world. Time magazine named him “Man of the Year”.


Franz Alt 2024 | Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator 

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