Photovoltaics everywhere you look
It can finally flow. The way for the direct current, which is pushing its way from the north German wind farms to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, is clear. The Südlink power line is ready after around 15 years. It was originally supposed to be four years ago, in 2026. But only at the beginning of the decade did the Corona crisis throw the building back, before legal proceedings and petitions did the rest.
But it shouldn’t have been much later. The year 2030 marks a turning point for the domestic power grid. After the one-time coal compromise, which provided for an exit by 2038, European emissions trading has in the meantime created facts. With DattelnIV and Boxberg, only two coal-fired power plants are still on the grid, and they will soon switch to backup operation. In exchange with the Federal Network Agency The operators are currently working out plans on how the systems can be retrofitted, as has already been done with the majority of the old power plants. Both the option of leaving the generators on the grid as a “balance aid” for the fluctuating green electricity in dark, windless weather, and plans to expand them into thermal storage systems are on the table.
The European network is becoming more and more tightly meshed, but balancing the flow of electricity within Germany has increasingly challenged the operators. Especially since electricity consumption has increased by almost 10 percent since 2020 and almost 70 percent is now covered by renewable energies. The installed capacity of photovoltaics has almost tripled in ten years – also because it is cheap and enjoys a high level of acceptance among the population. The second does not apply to wind power on land. The fact that the expansion targets of 80 gigawatts could be achieved is mainly thanks to repowering: high-performance systems have replaced small and old ones in the same place. Developing new wind farms remains a tough undertaking.
The first German floating offshore wind farm, which is due to open at the end of the year, is more optimistic. The wind power from the North Sea will then operate a 500 megawatt electrolyser. After all, the proportion of green hydrogen in gas-fired power plants is growing in order to secure the important base load in the future. (anie.)
In vitro meat in the supermarket
An autonomous tractor with an electric drive hums across the field. A drone is circling above him. With sensitive sensors, it collects various information about the weather and the plants on the ground – moisture, weather forecast, condition of the plants. The drone sends all this data to the tractor, which in turn fertilizes the plants via fine nozzles as required. Excess fertilizer, which the plant cannot absorb, is avoided by what is known as precision agriculture, and less nitrous oxide, which is harmful to the climate, escapes into the atmosphere. These innovations have been talked about for a long time – in 2030, they will no longer be imaginable.
Little robots pulling weeds move their tracks in the adjacent field. This protects the soil, which means that it can bind more CO2. In total, German agriculture emits 56 million tons of CO2 equivalents, in 2020 it was 10 million tons more. For a long time it was mainly about “organic” and animal welfare – today climate protection plays a central role in agriculture. It cannot work without this branch of the economy. But not only has technology developed, the eating habits of consumers have also changed. The trend towards organic products, the manufacture of which releases fewer emissions, continues unabated. The proportion of organically farmed area has doubled to 20 percent Federal government has achieved the goal it has set for itself in this case.