Freiburg in Germany is seen as Europe's solar capital. Over 100 businesses and public buildings already use solar power here.
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Solar Power Usage in Freiburg, Germany
Correspondent: August the 11th 1999 Germany, Europe and the West of Asia experience a total solar eclipse. The light fades and the temperature drops sharply as the earth’s solar power switches off.
Local: A few seconds and then it will get dark on the small light and yes that’s a few minutes you see now the— .
Local: It is incredible I mean such got dark so quickly and then it just there nad it’s so dark around and you think like what’s happening.
Local: Then the sky dark and kind of shocks. It was quite amazing.
Local: It makes you realize from such a little tiny bit of sun you still got so much bright and light on there own.
Correspondent: This house known as the heliotrope provides an insight into the way that solar energy could be put to use in the 21st Century.
Rolf Disch (Solar Architect): These are vacuum frames that collect the sunlight. We also use them as railings. The absorbers draw in sunlight and pass the energy through the pipes to a storage system and then from the solar storage system we did the warmth out here. It’s a ceiling heating system. This radiates warmth and also built out of the same absorbing material and the vacuum brings the tower here as a rating site.
Correspondent: The heliotrope isn’t out of place in the German City of Friedberg which is fast becoming Europe’s solar capital. Over 100 businesses and public buildings already use solar power here. Local—uses the sun’s energy throughout the brewing process solar powered toys are in big demand in the playground of 23 schools locally that have converted to using solar power. Parking methods are also powered by the sun as is the local football club.
Hellmut Gebhardt (Sport-ClubFreiburg): What we can see here these are collectors in other words the solar cell construction. This panel drawing the sunlight and turn it into electricity and then we don’t store electricity. We fill it into the network. We turn it from 12 volts into 240 volts and confer.
Correspondent: 6% of the European Union amity supplies has currently come from renewable sources. The commission wants to see that if it get doubled by 2010 it claims this would create around half a million jobs but the new target is only a proposal of the jobs are hypothetical. The long established coal oil and nuclear industries are subsidized the tune of almost 15 billion dollars every year and that’s blocking the development of green energy.
Dr. Stephan Singer (European Policy Office, WWF): The majority of renewable is many solar is not cost effective on that current economic circumstances so you have to have commitments by governed amounts to change this framework to change the circumstances and to drastically cut the subsidies for conventional fuels and increase a market support system rather than subsidies a market support system for --
Oliver Germeroth (Nature Energie): The problem for small – you know it’s that we don’t have the excess to the gird as we like to have the large utilities are actually by law obliged to separate the distribution. The gird ownership and the protection when we try to distribute our green energy we would pay more than other companies that you pay for there to make produce power.
Correspondent: There isn’t a legally binding European directive on renewable energy which would force all the countries in the union to support the development of the renewable industry. Instead it is left to member governments multinationals and individual companies to choose their own path. Critics say this approach is yet another handicap for green energy.
Dr. Stephan Singer (European Policy Office, WWF): You need a framework director what gives countries all to the security that if they west the others have so that not someone is left alone in the rain is putting lots of money to technologies and the others are not following. I mean if everyone then has to have the same goal to double renewables I believe that is no reason why this couldn’t happen because there’s no argument of competition. There is no argument of price or distortion of market distortion because everyone has to do it. That is then kind of political.
Correspondent: The German government is committed to having 10% of its power supply by renewable energy by 2010 it’s currently promoting what’s called the 100,000 rooftop campaign that’s designed to show how cost effective solar power can be for both domestic and business use. In Friedberg at least it’s an industry that’s beginning to see the light.
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