Sunday, January 3, 2010
If we want to lead, maybe we should begin catching up...
Indeed, by harvesting plants before they seed, two crops of biomass can be grown per year. It has been estimated that such decentralized plants could produce up to 25% of Germany's entire electricity demand. But equally important as numbers and proof-of-principle is the social value of the project: the sense of community pride and responsibility.
“With contaminated food scares, BSE and similar troubles, rural areas have suffered a great decline in respect in recent years; we want to give them a chance for the future, and restore the level of respect they receive from the rest of society,” Ruppert remarked. In addition to the subsidies granted by the German government in support of renewable energy production, this could become another driving force for farmers and rural communities to establish such decentralized energy production plants: sometimes urban dwellers do not respect or value farmers for producing food, but perhaps they would if these very farmers made the electricity that powered their lights, cookers and washing machines.
Also, subsidies for growing fuel crops would certainly please voters more than the current EC farming subsidies that largely go into excess production. Many other villages in Lower Saxony and Northrhine-Westfalia have shown interest in becoming Bioenergy Villages, and even Japanese and Chinese delegations have visited Jühnde to study the technology.
Many studies have proven that a hundred per cent energy supply from Renewable Energy Sources is possible. But still many people are sceptical. Therefore it is very important that already today examples of properly working energy supply from renewable sources do exist. The bioenergy village Jühnde in northern Germany switched its power supply to Renewable Energies completely.
Meanwhile, back in Virginia it's Drill Baby Drill
Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell isn’t waiting to get the keys to the mansion to keep up his push to bring offshore drilling to the commonwealth. It would bring sorely needed jobs and tax revenue, he says.
But it turns out his oil-drilling-brings-economic-development argument rests on some threadbare data.