How Germany is leading the world with renewable energy
Germany has been relying on renewable energy to power its cities for a while now, after the country decided to transition from coal- and oil-fired power to carbon-free electricity. The transition has proven successful, seeing 74 percent of renewable energy meet the day’s demands in May 2014.
That record was beat, however, on July 25, when solar, wind and other sources of renewable energy met 78 percent of the energy demand.
According to an analysis by German energy expert Craig Morris, helping set the record was an unusual weather pattern that brought heavy winds where most of the nation’s wind turbines are located. Morris stated that most of Germany’s wind turbines are installed in the north, while most of its solar panels are in the south.
If the figures hold, it will turn out that wind and solar generated 40.65 gigawatts (GW) of power on July 25. When this is combined with other forms of renewables, including 4.85 GW from biomass and 2.4 GW from hydropower, the total reaches 47.9 GW of renewable power.
Both the expansion of renewables and a relatively mild winter have resulted in Germany’s greenhouse emissions falling to their lowest level since 1990, according to analysts at Agora Energiewende.
This is good news for the country, which requires the phasing out of nuclear energy by 2022 and reducing greenhouse gases by at least 80 percent by 2050.
The German government also wants at least double the percentage of renewable in the energy mix by 2035.
Osha Gray Davidson, author of Clean Break, a book about Germany’s transition to clean energy, told TakePart that 28 percent of Germany’s electricity comes from renewables annually, “which is pretty amazing for a large industrialized country.”
He also noted that Germany is a good model for the United States.
“Manufacturing accounts for much more of the German economy than the American economy, and they have 80 million people—much larger than a country like Denmark, which gets more of its power from renewables but has a much smaller industrial base, and has a population of five and a half million people,” he said.
Currently, the United States gets about 10 percent of its energy demand from renewable sources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
UK Nissan fleet owners receive commercial charging service
UK fleet owners of Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 models can avail of a new commercial charging service using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
The V2G technology developed by DREEV, which is a joint venture between EDF and Nuvve, which specialises in V2G technology, allows for two-way energy flow; both recharging an EV’s battery when electricity is at its cheapest, and discharging excess energy to sell back into the grid.
Fleet customers will save around £350 savings per charger each year, which equates to approximately 9,000 miles of driving charge per year.
EDF’s V2G business solution includes:
The supply and installation of a two-way connected compact 11kW charger capable of fully charging a Nissan LEAF, depending on the battery model, in 3 hours and 30 minutes - 50 per cent faster than a standard charger - with integrated DREEV technology.
A dedicated DREEV smart phone app, to define the vehicles’ driving energy requirements, track their state of charge in real time, and control charging at any time
Philip Valarino, Interim Head of EV Projects at EDF, said today’s announcement marks an important step on the UK’s journey towards electric mobility. "By combining the expertise and capabilities of EDF, Nissan and Dreev we have produced a solution that could transform the EV market as we look to help the UK in its journey to achieve Net Zero," he said. “Our hope is that forward-thinking businesses across the country will be persuaded to convert their traditional fleets to electric, providing them with both an environmental and economic advantage in an increasingly crowded market.”
Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director, NMGB, said Nissan has been a pioneer in 100% electric mobility since 2010, and the integration of electric vehicles into the company is at the heart of Nissan's vision for intelligent mobility.
He added the Nissan LEAF, with more than half a million units already sold worldwide - is the only model today to allow V2G two-way charging and offers economic opportunities for businesses "that no other electric vehicle does today". Click here for more information.
FirstEnergy Corp, which aims to electrify 30% of its approximately 3,400 light duty and aerial fleet vehicles by 2030, has joined the Electric Highway Coalition. The group of electric companies, which has grown to 14 members, is committed to enabling long-distance EV travel through a network of EV fast-charging stations connecting major highway systems.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on US roads by 2030. While many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV, some are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips. Through their unified efforts, the members of the EHC are addressing this "range anxiety" and demonstrating to customers that EVs are a smart choice for traveling long distances as well as driving around town.
Volta Industries has installed new charging stations at Safeway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Renton, Washington.