By Cameron Chai
An EU research carried out by the Karlsruhe located Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, indicates that the transition to renewable power generation will increase economics as well as the job market growth in the coming years.
The scientists at the institute are formulating concepts and solutions for the effective transition. Recent tragedy at Fukushima in Japan has elicited the needed public awareness in favor of utilizing renewable energy sources.
More often the zealots of renewable energy face the question on its economic viability and how it will affect industrial competitiveness of a country such as Germany. The EU study indicates that the shift towards renewable energy sources will actually improve the job market and economic growth. It anticipates that around 2.8 million people will be employed in renewable energy business by the year 2020.
The study also indicates that the negative consequences of such implementation will be preponderated by the positive impacts such as generation of over 400,000 extra job opportunities and the resultant growth in GDP by 0.24% or 35 billion Euros. In another study performed by ISI scientists indicates a positive trend on the expansion of renewable energy usage.
The study predicts a fall in the costs of renewable energy generation in terms of solar PV module costs and consequently the value of power generation due to continued technological innovations and production techniques. It anticipates the solar PV share in the power mix will reach 30% in a medium run.
On wind power generation the research utilizes the study details presented by the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), which states that around 8% land area in outside the protected areas and forests is available for wind power installation and even the deployment of just 2% of the available land area towards wind power generation will result in 198 GW of wind power generation. It indicates that onshore wind generation alone can contribute around 390 terawatt hours of energy out of the total 600 terawatt hours consumption by the country.
The study stresses for innovations in the construction of offshore wind farms to endure the waves, UV radiation, salt, water and wind for a period of around 20 years and expects them to generate 20 to 25 GW meeting around 15% of the power requirement of Germany by the year 2030. It discusses the onshore simulating facilities developed at Bremerhaven to test the offshore wind turbines.
The research discusses the need of introducing a proper grid structure to handle the energy supply from biomass, wind and solar generation facilities in order to manage the power generation vagaries and the need to quickly fill in the power generation gaps to maintain the balance of supply. It feared that the rapid progress by renewable energy generation will be blocked by inflexible nuclear power generation. It suggests for smart grids with improved technical features to enable the wind or solar power production facilities and consumers to converse and comply their power requirement with the available level of sun or wind power.
The research also talks about the need for developing effective temporary storage facilities to manage 20 MW power needed for around 2,000 families. It also discusses on unconventional energy sources such as heat storage.