German Industry:

Biomass conversion to energy is a practice that has been common in Europe for many years. This industry was driven Germany's desire to reduce their dependence on foreign fuel sources, to become more energy efficient, to slow impending climate change, to decrease the cost of energy, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To accomplish their goals, Germany implemented a renewable energy law that stimulated investment in the renewable energy industry (3). In 2007, the renewable energy industry employed 249,300 people in Germany. Biomass accounted for 39% of those jobs (96,100 people) (1). It is estimated that at least 134,000 of the total jobs were a direct result of the renewable energy law (1).

In 2008, renewable sources accounted for 9.6% of Germany's total energy consumption (2) and 15.1% of the gross electric consumption (2). Germany has already surpassed the European Union's national renewable electricity target of 12.5% (4). Germany alone is home to approximately 3,800 anaerobic digestion facilities.

The University of Kassel is currently studying the possibility of a combined power plant to replace nuclear power, coal mining and energy imports as the primary sources of Germany's power. The combined power plant uses biomass, wind and solar to generate sustainable renewable energy.

Sources: 1) Renewable Energy World April 8, 2008, 2) German Renewable Energies Agency, 3) The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, & 4) The Economist - German Lessons

Germany is home to approximately 3,800 anaerobic digestion facilities.




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