Sunday, January 3, 2010

If we want to lead, maybe we should begin catching up...

A totally self-sufficient entity, the Jühnde plant takes biomass from local fields and uses the post-fermentation residue as fertilizer. Because any kind of biomass will do, fields of weeds can be grown for the purpose, thereby additionally conserving natural biodiversity and reducing pesticide use.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Bubby said...

Putting cropland into no-till cellulosic production would fix carbon into the soil and generate a carbon credit for farmers...wonder why the Farm Bureau isn't talking about that?

My tractor is designed to run on alcohol that is produced by fermented switchgrass! I wish the Farm Bureau would get busy lobbying for alternative fuel production.

Bubby said...

Pope Benedict XVI delivered a Christmas message right down the Catholic chimney over at casa McDonnell:

It is becoming more and more evident that the issue of environmental degradation challenges us to examine our lifestyle and the prevailing models of consumption and production, which are often unsustainable from a social, environmental and even economic point of view.

Translation for Bob: We can't drill our way out of this problem.

Jeryl said...

Stupid Politician Quote #1:

"Wouldn't it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to [wind] energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up?...It's just something to think about."
Texas Republican Representative, Joe Barton.

Eb said...

Oh I like this!
Stupid Politician Quote #2:

"Carbon dioxide, Mister Speaker, is a natural byproduct of nature. Carbon dioxide is natural. It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular lifecycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can't even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that's on the Earth, to the, to the fowl that—that flies in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as part of the fundamental life cycle of Earth." —Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)