I ran across this interesting article and it really needs to be shared, and commented upon here, for it raises so many issues of an historical and geopolitical nature:
This article prompts so many questions and observations I don't really know where to begin, but let's begin with an assumption, and a little history.
First, the assumption: let's assume the article is true (and there's really no reason to assume otherwise, until later, as we shall see), and that Germany does indeed receive half of its energy needs during peak consumption hours from solar power.
Now let's do some history: why is it Germany that is doing this? The article gives us some standard, now-well-rehearsed reasons: the most dynamic economy in the western world (forget about the western satellite, Japan, in this regard, after Fukushima), far-sighted decisions by its leaders to develop alternative sources of energy in the wake of Fukushima, and so on. But the answers lie much deeper in history, and deeper in German geopolitical realities. The industrial revolution found Germany quickly competing with the other big industrial economies of the day, the United Kingdom and the United States. Unlike them, however, Germany had no easy access to petroleum, but had plenty of access to coal, and thus coal became Germany's mainstay fuel. Even the Kaiser's Hochseeflotte (High Seas Fleet) and its battleships were, unlike other navies, coal-powered, giving German battleships with their coal bunkers a much stouter "staying" power defensively than their British counterparts. But World War One exposed strategic weakenesses with the British embargo. Crucial strategic materials were in short supply.
Answer: what could not be supplied had to be created. The German chemicals industry found ways to produce nitrogen for explosives, and so on. But the lesson of the World War One Kaiserreich lived on...into the Third Reich. During the inter-war period and during the Second World War, the Nazis, as I and other researchers have detailed, established a number of secretive agencies to deal with the energy problem. I.G. Farben of course negotiated license agreements with American companies for the technology to produce petroleum from coal. But at a deeper level, entities like the Kammlerstab, the Forschung, Entwicklung, und Patente (headed by the mysterious SS Obergruppenfuehrer Emil Mazuw, about whom we know next to nothing to this day), the SS Entwicklungstelle IV, were busily working on what we would now call "free energy." One need only look at the claims of Dr. Ronald Richter that Henry Stevens and I have outlined in our books to realize that he was talking about "cold fusion" decades in advance of Pons and Fleischmann.
So from a geopolitical and historical point of view, Germany is doing nothing new, but pursuing a policy that has been in place since the Imperial period.
Which raises the contemporary questions. Our own media outlets in this country have decried the attempts to rely on wind power, and the scandals surrounding the Obama administration's heavy financial backing of solar power companies, plus a spate of articles on the low cost-to-dividend and efficiency ratios for solar and wind power that are often reported, make one question the claim that Germany can rely on these sources -wind and solar - that are reported. Yet, on the other hand, the German government has indeed definitely moved away from its long backing of nuclear power, publicly, and has indeed publicly stated it will move to wind and solar. Farsighted leadership? Not really, just standard fare, given German geopolitical position and history.
What one really must ask here is why no one else in the West's governments seems to be similarly far-sighted, and why, indeed, Germany seems to be getting so much energy from these sources. It isn't the technological claim, in other words, that disturbs me, it is the quantity of energy allegedly delivered by solar power that raises the questions: (1) are we in the rest of the West being lied to about solar capabilties? or (2) is the German government lying about it, or worse (3) do the Germans know something about solar energy that no one else does, and they're simply not talking (except maybe to France and Russia)? or, on the ridiculous end: is all of Germany paved over with solar cells (for that's the degree of inefficiency that some of our own talking heads seem to attribute to it)?
This is an intriguing story, and like all stories associated with Europe these days, it bears watching. Once again, Germany is making a bid for "energy independence" and the last time that happened ...well.... the Powers that Were Elsewhere in Europe and America weren't too pleased about it... but the last time, it was Hitler and Stalin... this time it's a lot different folks, this time, it's Merkel and Putin... and the same axis of evil(to borrow a phrase) in the City of London and New York.... And if Berlin is really getting this much of its energy needs from solar, you can bet they're paying attention in New Delhi and Beijing too...
And on the brighter side, just think: Dr. Rossi in Italy and his cold fusion experiments, which even got the attention of NASA, Germany going solar, Japan making (or rather, ABOUT to make) cars running on water, until the Fukushima disaster, the Shanghai accords... it's probably many a sleepless night in Pocantico...
See you on the flip side...