Pronoia from the Future

Germany exports more energy than ever. The surplus is due to the massive development of renewable energies.

Germany exported the equivalent of the output of two large power stations – 12.3 terawatt hours – during the first three quarters of the year, according to a preliminary report from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), seen by the business weekly Manager Magazin.

By comparison, Germany had to import more than it exported over the first three quarters of last year, when the balance was -0.2 terawatt hours. But that was the exception during recent years – since 2006, Germany has consistently exported well over five terawatt hours more than it has imported.

Another Outbreak of Human Ingenuity and Inventiveness

Teenage girls from Africa invented a new kind of generator.

How’s this for an innovative startup: four African girls — the eldest of which is just fifteen years old — have worked together to invent a generator that’s powered by urine. The group presented their creation at this year’s Maker Faire Africa, and it’s so freaking brilliant it makes me want travel back in time and punch 15-year-old me right in the solar plexus.

Is There a Conspiracy to Use Renewable Energy?

Germany produced a record high amount of renewable energy in the first half of 2012, an increase of 19.5 percent from the same period last year.

Renewables now account for 25 percent of energy production, up from 21 percent last year, the country’s energy industry association (BDEW) said in a statement that reinforced Germany’s position as a leader in green technology.

Wind energy was the largest contributor of green power, accounting for 9.2 percent of all energy output, BDEW said.

Gambling on a Positive Future

Germany has decided to pursue ambitious greenhouse-gas reductions — while closing down its nuclear plants. Can a heavily industrialized country power its economy with wind turbines and solar panels?

What’s coming next won’t be so easy. In 2010, the German government declared that it would undertake what has popularly come to be called an Energiewende—an energy turn, or energy revolution. This switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is the most ambitious ever attempted by a heavily industrialized country: it aims to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by midcentury.

Intelligent Alternatives Creeping Into the Mainstream

Denmark aims to supply 35% of its total energy from renewables by 2020 and 100% by 2050.

The deal aims to see Denmark cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels and decrease energy consumption by more than 12% compared to 2006.

It also aims to supply 35% of its total energy from renewables, with half of its electricity delivered by wind farms. The agreement also covers advances in renewable heat, smart grids, and biogas among other green technologies.

Pronoiacs Fight for Environmental Health and Beauty

Wind power without the blades.

Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving.