Solar is Hot in Germany

A german co-worker told me how it rains practically everyday in his native town. So how does the country become the world’s top solar power producer?

Apparently, what’s good for the planet is also good for the German economy:

There are now 250,000 jobs in Germany in the renewables energy sector… jobs in solar power alone to double to 90,000 over the next five years and hit 200,000 in 2020.

As with any new development, there are critics who want to slow down government incentives for solar power use, but the government has other plans:

So far just 3 percent of Germany’s electricity comes from the sun, but the government wants to raise the share of renewables to 27 percent of all energy by 2020 from 13 percent.

But why in Germany and not anywhere else in the world? Frank Asbeck of SolarWorld AG explains:

Germans have a fondness for inventing and developing technologies — especially when it might lead to big export rates. Helping fight climate change is a bonus.

Those Crafty Japanese!

First it was paper cranes, now it’s bridges. Architect Shigeru Ban is moving us along the twenty-first century by using very old technology: paper! Ban has created an cardboard bridge in France.

Weighing 7.5 tonnes, the bridge is made from 281 cardboard tubes, each 11.5 centimetres (four inches) across and 11.9 millimetres thick. The steps are recycled paper and plastic and the foundations wooden boxes packed with sand.

It’s environmentally friendly, can be rebuilt and totally cool.

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