August 8, 2011
Science Daily’s article, “Transition to Renewable Energy Stimulates the Economy, German Researchers Say,” describes findings from several studies by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, and Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
Question: Is a transition to renewable energies too expensive in today’s financial climate? Answer: The transition will stimulate economic growth in the coming decade, and any negative impact will be outweighed by positive short-term and mid-term job growth, and long-term benefits of renewable energy research and application across Europe.
Germany is doing more than generating studies. An energy system renovation of a large apartment building in Germany has reduced energy needs by a projected 40%. Actual energy consumption will be measured over the next few years for real-world data, which will drive similar renovations for future sites.
Some may see Germany’s efforts as a knee-jerk reaction to the Fukushima disaster. Regardless of the driving factors, a growing awareness of the benefits of renewable energy is evident within Germany and on a more global scale.
Renewable energy technology is maturing beyond the offer of an alternative energy source. The willingness to rethink how energy is used and re-used is leading us all into new areas of innovation, such as intelligent energy monitoring, passive storage, use of alternative energy states, and adaptable grid designs integrated with existing technology that historically relies on fossil fuels.