Green Electricity: Taking the Energiewende in Your Hands

Green Electricity: Taking the Energiewende in Your Hands

Since the accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant in Fukushima at the latest the way of thinking of consumers changed. People are more self-confident and think before buying products or services, whether they are environmentally friendly. This is particularly the case of electricity: Until the super-meltdown in Fukushima, green electricity was the expensive alternative to conventional electricity. This view has long since changed.

The fight for the energy transition

Germany has decided to opt out of nuclear energy - but this has not yet been completed. As before, nine nuclear power plants in the Federal Republic are still connected to the grid. Incidentally, however, the energy transition is progressing as planned. Around a quarter of German electricity is already produced by renewable energies. Every second wind, biomass and solar plant as well as hydroelectric power plants belongs to a private individual. Since only a fraction belongs to the four big energy companies, their resistance to the planned energy turnaround is correspondingly large. With the change to a green electricity supplier, customers can show companies that they want the energy turnaround.

Customers of a green energy supplier ...

  • pay for electricity from renewable energies
  • contribute decisively to climate protection
  • promote the expansion of renewable energy Energy sources
  • lay the building block for a decentralized supply with the help of renewable energies

Green electricity is already cheaper in numerous regions of the Federal Republic than "Egalstrom". The big energy companies have been raising their prices for years and many customers pay without batting an eye, even if the electricity price is in their hands. Fortunately, changing an electricity provider has never been so easy: using the Internet, electricity customers can not only compare fares, but switch directly.

What exactly is green electricity?

Green electricity is electrical energy produced by renewable energy sources. The most important renewable energy sources include: wind, water, sun and biomass. In contrast to conventional energy sources such as oil, coal and nuclear power, renewable sources do not harm the environment because their resources are infinite.

Wind energy accounts for the largest share of renewable energies in Germany. Large wind turbines are available throughout the Federal Republic, especially in northern Germany. Next comes hydropower: energy is generated in different ways from the flow of water, storing storage power plants as electricity. Another important factor is the use of solar energy: photovoltaic systems use their solar cells to convert light energy into electricity. As an alternative, there are solar panels that store sunlight as heat.

In addition to these three main forms, biogas has caught up in recent years. Although the energy source does not occur directly in nature, the basic material is available almost endlessly. The horticultural and agricultural waste is stored in containers, creating a rotting process that produces biogas. This is used to generate heat and electricity.

Green electricity in the near future

The German government takes green energy very seriously. In 2013 alone, the Federal Ministry of Research invested 750 million euros in the area of ​​climate protection and energy. In the course of climate protection through green electricity, the electricity from renewable energies should soon replace fossil energy. In particular, investments in fossil fuels such as coal are to be drastically reduced.

Even if the commitment is praiseworthy, there are many challenges in the energy transition:

  • Renewable energy accounts for around 23 percent of total electricity generation in 2013, but they are not yet supply-reliable - the sun does not always shine, the wind does not always blow.
  • A backup system consisting of conventional power plants, power grids and power plants Storage facilities is necessary. Renewable energies are ahead of conventional producers - the latter's operating times are significantly reduced, making their operation uneconomic.
  • The transmission and distribution network needs to be expanded to use renewable energy. The wind power, which is mainly produced in the north, has to be transported to the industrial states in the south.
  • The costs for the energy turnaround are passed on to the electricity customer via the EEG, which is currently undergoing a reform.
  • Not sufficiently informed Germans against green electricity. With information on green electricity, they must be informed about the benefits of renewable energies.

As this article shows, green electricity has many advantages. A world that derives its power exclusively from renewable energies is still a dream of the future. However, the first building blocks have already been placed, and now the energy transition must slowly but surely take its course in the coming years.

Artikelbild: © 29october / Shutterstock