Timon Singh

Germany May Replace 17 Nuclear Power Reactors With Wind Power Farms

by , 04/06/11
filed under: Renewable Energy

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The aftermath of the Fukishima disaster saw concerned citizens worldwide protesting the increase in the use of nuclear power. German citizens were particularly vocal in their criticism, and it looks like it may have had an effect. According to recent reports, the German government has decided to ‘re-examine’ the country’s 17 nuclear reactors, with Chancellor Merkel even stating that she intends on doing away with them. Even more intriguing are the country’s plans to replace the nuclear stations with wind farms.

germany nuclear plants, germany nuclear power, Germany wind industry, Germany wind power, offshore wind, onshore wind power, wind energy, wind energy replace nuclear one

Image © tillwe

Germany has always been a leader in renewable energy, but if they want to replace nuclear power with something less damaging, then they will have to embrace wind power. A study from industry group Bundesverband WindEnergie suggests that the country will have to give 2% of the its land mass to wind farms in order to substitue nuclear power. By using 2% of Germany’s landmass, the country would be able to provide as much as 65% of the demand for electricity in the country. If they wanted to increase this, they could always construct additional offshore wind farms, which are proven to be more reliable than land-based ones.

Speaking at a press conference, BEW President Hermann Albers said that more than 22% of Germany’s land is, technically, suitable for onshore wind power generation, although when protected areas such as woodlands and sanctuaries are taken into account, the number quickly falls to around 8%.

Albers added that full utilization of Germany’s onshore wind power potential could result in installed wind turbine capacity of 198 gigawatts, which could produce around 390 terawatt-hours. By comparison, Germany’s nuclear industry produced 140 terawatt hours in 2010. At the end of 2010, Germany’s wind power capacity was only 27 gigawatts – however that is expected to improve.

via Nasdaq

Lead image © Jasmic

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3 Comments

  1. rfmarine May 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    To minimize the amount of greenhouse gases, what germany should have done and what every body else should do is to first expand renewables. Then as you are able to produce extra electricity from renewables, you are able to one by one shut down un needed non renewable power plants. To maximize greenhouse gas reduction, you prioritize which plant you shut down first. Priority would be given to plants that produce greenhouse gases – fossil fuel plants. Nuclear plants would be last in line.

    Although you slightly increase the risk of a nuclear plant accident by this, you also maximize the greenhouse gas emissions decrease. The accident chance is already so small and the current status of climate change is so bad that this risk is worth it.

    AFAIK germany has already shut down 8 nuclear plants. Maybe they should have first shut down 8 coal plants instead.

    Also, this report does not mention the huge expenses involved with renewables, including new transmission lines. The areas that are windy are quite far from industrial centers

  2. F-E-V April 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

    140 TWh in 2010 replaced with 10 MW (20-30 GWh) wind turbines in the North Sea. Germany has a lot of industrial giants like SIEMENS capable of making it to the 2020-2050 timeline, but 5000 to 7000 wind turbines to replace just 17 steam turbines requires vast resources (both workforce and materials).

    In reality, Germany may replace reactors with efficiency supplemented by all renewables.

  3. lazyreader April 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

    If your gonna replace a reactor with windmills, it’ll take nearly 10,000 windmills to substitute the capacity factor for 1 reactor. Where the hell are you gonna put 10,000 windmills?!?!? Let alone 170,000 Germany needs, Let alone the million + it may need to replace all their power needs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHZKo13HV2A

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