Germans air views on green energy, water management

September 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Issues discussed in the meeting covered solar and wind energy, the private-sector role in waste management, and flood prevention.

German team leader Karsten Sach, deputy director-general for European and international environment policy, said Germany was well equipped to assist and cooperate with Thailand in these areas.

On flood-prevention strategies, Sach said Germany had wide experience in designing such strategies and was well suited to handle technical components and the whole package – including how to build a climate-resistant city, which entails zoning laws, infrastructure and accurate flood forecasting.

“We’re confident that we have good advice to offer,” said Sach, who met with senior Thai bureaucrats from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Germany, Sach insisted, was not competing with The Netherlands or Japan and other nations in offering assistance and cooperation. Nevertheless, Sach said: “I think it’s important that Thailand develops a strategy [to prevent flooding].”

Solar and wind energy are also areas where Sach said Germany was well placed to assist Thailand in making a transition to alternative power sources. Currently, 70 per cent of Thai energy sourcing comes from natural gas and the cost is substantial, said Sach, who met with his Thai counterpart at the Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel on Wednesday and yesterday.

The cost of producing electricity and energy from wind and solar power sources has gone down significantly over the years, he said, and 1.3 million Germans now generate green energy from the two sources. “Renewable energy is a way of solving some of the huge challenges… We are frontrunners in getting not just the technology but societal learning to win people to be part of the solution. That’s what we’re discussing here.”

Sach said Germany was phasing out its nine existing nuclear plants, although he suspects Thailand is still keeping the door open for possible production of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy, warned Sach, is too costly in terms of getting rid of its waste, and too risky. “We didn’t discuss anything on nuclear [with our Thai counterparts],” said Sach.

Germany will decommission all its nuclear plants by 2022.

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