Leading German Social Democrat no need for new nuclear power
A day after the IEA urged the Netherlands to quickly start building a new nuclear power station (as it does for many countries), Hermann Scheer visited the Netherlands to not only speech at the 30 year anniversary event of WISE but also visit Ministries, members of parliament, media and investors.
Scheer, member of parliament for the German SPD (Social-democrats) is famous for what he has achieved in Germany to increase the percentage of renewable energy in the total mix, for getting the support of not only the public and politics but also the big industries and workers unions for the special schemes which encourages individual households (millions by now) to engage themselves in decentralize and sustainable electricity production (the so-called Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz (EEG) or feed-in system.
In an outspoken response to the IEA Scheer stated that “the International Energy Agency is misleading governments for decades already. The call for a new nuclear power station is bullshit and the data the IEA works with are legendary bad”.
His opinion is supported by the findings of a new report by the leading independent research authority Energy Watch Group, published in January of this year.
The report “Wind Power in Context – A Clean Revolution in the Energy Sector” identifies exponential growth in wind power capacity since the early 1990s. With net capacity additions of almost 20,000 Megawatts in 2007 the report suggests that, contrary to IEA forecasts, growth of wind power additions will continue and that it will be driven not just by costs for fossil fuels and nuclear cost overruns - but by access to new wind resources, by new grid regulations, by an emerging world market for wind turbines and components and by ever cheaper and better wind technology.
“It is time to recognise that the many detractors of wind energy, including the IEA, have got it wrong. Unbundling in the power sector and a timely planning of new grids will put many regions of the world on the fast track for a renewable driven energy sector.”
“With the renewables market being driven forward by the entrance of major commercial players, and experiencing the benefits of consolidation of services around the strengths of different primary energy sources, we believe that the growth of the wind sector, accompanied by solar and other renewables will continue. This is not about morals or environment but the commercial reality that wind, coupled with hydro, solar, biomass and geothermal energy is not only a rapid and cost effective alternative but one that could deliver all our energy requirements within the first half of this century. In times of rising supply disruption risks and rising cost renewable energy technologies are the only source which provides electricity predictable, in terms of economics and in terms of supply.”
Wind power net capacity additions over the last ten years (1998-2007) have showed a mean growth rate of 30.4 percent per year, corresponding to a doubling of net additions every two and a half years. High worldwide growth rates for wind power will continue, and wind power will conquer a large part of the energy market in the next foreseeable future (10-15 years). Over the last 25 years, the productivity of wind turbines grew one undred fold and average capacity per turbine grew by more than 1000 percent.
According to the Dutch Minister of Environment, who also spoke wit Scheer, the German experience and legislation should be acknowledged and implemented in the Dutch situation as well. Scheer, who travels the world to tell about the German success-story, could only applaud these words. In his evening speech for a big crowd at the WISE-event he again stressed the importance of a vigorous and outspoken, self-confident and well-prepared anti-nuclear power movement. “Politicians lack courage. And that’s the only reason why we keep talking about new nuclear power stations. The transition to a real sustainable energy situation will not only bring us winners. Current players (coal, nuclear, oil) will loose. And they fight for their survival; that’s why they want us to first burn al their fossils before we go sustainable. That’s why we should fight them and that’s why we should for instance embrace the launch of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
This new body was launched on January 26, 2009, and is intended to provide a counterbalance to the International Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency, by becoming a driving force behind renewable technologies such as sun, wind, water and geothermal energy sources.
For more information on the feed-in system see: http://www.bmu.de/files/english/renewable_energy/downloads/application/pdf/langfassung_einspeisesysteme_en.pdf