Apparently, Japan has opened many eyes regarding the risks of nuclear energy to the world: first China, now Germany. In the aftermath of the Japan disaster, the German government decided to reexamine the 17 nuclear reactors, while Chancellor Angela Merkel insists on doing away with the power plants quicker.
There are 7 older nuclear reactors that have already ceased to operate and are unlikely to come back to the market.
But I haven’t got to the good part yet: that is no big loss since Germany can substitute this with wind energy! More precisely, what it needs is only 2% of the total land surface to swarm with wind farms and they’re covered.
And that shouldn’t be hard to accomplish, since there is room on about 8% of the land for this industry. But remember: only 2% would be enough to provide as much as 65% of the demand for electricity in the country.
That is great news for Germany, except that we are speaking about onshore wind power. And that kind of power is unreliable. To get to that level, they would definitely have to come up with the rest from other sources – offshore or solar power.
Anyway, if they go ahead with the installation of the 198 gigawatt wind turbines on the 2% “land of promise,” then we will witness a production of about 390 terawatt-hours per year. That almost triples the 140 terawatt hours produced in 2010.
It appears that the southern German states are the ones which use nuclear energy most, but by some kind of divine compensation they also enjoy the most wind power potential. There is still a long way to go in what investment is concerned, but this seems to be a win-win situation either way for Germany.