In order to protect the global climate, the use of fossil fuels must
be drastically reduced. Today already 10,000 wind turbines supply as
much electric power to Germany as the lignite power station in
Lippendorf. Through additional deployment of wind energy and modern
end-use technology, the power station could be shut down
immediately. The German greenhouse gas balance would thereby be
reduced by 11.7 million tons carbon dioxide per year.
In the same area of the Leipzig southern region intended for
excavation by the Mibrag mining company, a large wind park could be
established. Compatible activities of environmentally benign power
generation, business, research, agriculture and nature could be
conducted there. Owing to the feed-in law for electricity from wind
power, it would once again be profitable to invest in the regional
Lignite generation of electricity, on the other hand, constitutes
long-term stagnation with concepts from the 90's. The detachment
from technological progress increases steadily and weakens the
export prospects of local industry.
The USA is presently experiencing an enormous electricity crisis.
But Saxonian companies hardly have any innovative energy engineering
to offer there. This unproductive condition now threatens to become
a guideline for state licensing practices with the detrimental
remarks on wind power by Governor Biedenkopf.
However, should our industry really refrain from the lucrative
business of wind-powered devices? Would it be not much more
intelligent to manufacture and sell these highly desired "cash
printing machines" throughout the world? In Brandenburg 450 new
jobs are already being created for the production of rotor blades.
A wind turbine cannot fulfill the desire for idealized postcard
landscapes. However, nuclear reactors and coal-fired power stations are
painted grey in order to appear as inconspicuous as possible. This
pretended inoffensiveness will be revenged on coming generations,
which are threatened at no fault of their own by radioactive waste
and climate change.
Each wind-powered device therefore represents a pledge to ecological
justice. The occasionally annoying rotor movement nevertheless is a
reminder that electricity cannot be generated without expense. Yet
with increasing urban sprawl, a wind park serves more the protection
than the expulsion of natural organisms.
Jeffrey H. Michel
(This commentary appeared in the Leipziger Volkszeitung on July 31,