Is the energy transition impossible? Will it work? Here in Germany?
Last week I was interviewed by a journalist for a German automotive industry journal. I had checked the numbers before: Germany produces some 500 TWh of electricity per year, a third of it from coal. Some 2k TWh are imported as oil and gas. These amounts are huge, and if I compare it with the figures of the PV plant on my house I start crying. A drop in the ocean is significant compared to what I do. The same PV plant in a country like Iran would produce twice as much since it’s not so foggy there in winter. Is the German way really good?
A possible solution is offshore wind. It can be expanded massively, and at least in Germany many gas power plants are dreaming of 4k full load hours. Everything ok? Maybe. Maybe not. How far can we go? Good question.
Someone who is really an expert on this subject is Matthias Deutsch of Agora Energiewende from Berlin, Germany. Agora is a leading think tank and one of the most important consultants of the German government with respect to the energy system. I have known Matthias for like 18 years, and he has been the project leader of many studies on “Deep Decarbonization” and the energy system of 2050.
Now he has done two studies with two institutes – Max Planck in Germany and DTU in Denmark – who came to the same conclusion: The more offshore wind power plants, the lower the production per plant. The system “offshore” has limits. Ouch! In the Netherlands, Shell wants to build 10GW of offshore wind power plants to produce hydrogen. Interesting, isn’t it? But: Will this ever be possible?
Next Wednesday, Matthias and his colleagues will present their results and discuss the question with you if offshore wind is a good idea. What can be done with it and how much. If Germany shouldn’t back down and produce the energy somewhere else and import it. And last but not least you will have the unique opportunity to ask one of the biggest experts on decarbonization here in Germany all the questions that keep you awake at night. 🙂
Here’s the registration:
Webinar: “The limits of offshore wind and hydrogen production.”
Speakers: Dr. Matthias Deutsch (Agora Energiewende); Dr. Axel Kleidon, Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry; Jake Badger, Technical University of Denmark, Department of Wind Energy
Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 5pm CET (8am PST, 11am EST, etc.)
I am really looking forward to that webinar since it will give us some really good input for all the discussions. No blah, but clean and precise facts that everyone of us can use for our daily decisions.
By the way: If you want to stay up-to-date and know which webinar is up next, take a look at www.mission-hydrogen.de or sign up for the Mission Hydrogen Newsletter: https://mission-hydrogen.de/en/newsletter-en/.
Have a nice day.
PS: Someone asked me recently if we do those free webinars for charity. Yes and no. On the one hand, we believe it’s absolutely necessary to disseminate the knowledge we all need. On the other hand, the webinar series has sponsors that are being seen by thousands of people from their exact target group. Currently, the Gold and Silver Sponsors are: Burckhardt Compression, Neuman & Esser, Cummins and Linde. If you want to become a webinar sponsor as well and make sure you are promoted in such an email to 32,274 readers around the world, please let me know.
Dr. David Wenger