Germany has decided to turn its back on nuclear energy following Japan’s recent disaster, but what will the nation do now? As part of the country’s new national energy plan, it will be building more than 2,800 miles of new high-voltage transmission lines in order to double its current renewable energy target of 35 percent by 2020. The new transmission lines will carry wind power from existing wind farms all over the nation to the county’s industrial areas and population centres. Germany is also proposing several new wind farms in the North Sea and plans to tap Norway’s abundant reserves of hydropower.

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As Germany faces life without nuclear power, the German government faces a whole host of challenges in order to properly distribute renewable energy. This includes upgrading grid technology, mustering investments, installing 200-foot-tall transmission towers that could potentially ruin the landscape of picturesque villages and vineyards.

The construction of these new transmission networks is key, however there is the potential for a lot of internal political wrangling and rising costs. “The grid cannot become the bottleneck of the energy shift,” said Stephan Kohler, president of the German Energy Agency, or Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH. “Wind and solar power won’t do any good if we can’t transmit it to where it will be used or stored.”

However the goal could be worth the cost, as Germany’s new renewable energy plan aims to reach 80 percent by 2050.

+ Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH

Via New York Times

Images © Ian Muttoo, Jasmic, Wikimedia Commons