Meet the future of Germany’s renewable energy

The 20 "Green Talents" via BMBF Research for Sustainable Development

As part of Germany’s annual “Green Talents” competition, 20 young, talented scientists from around the world are being given the opportunity to tour and get hands-on experience at the country’s energy research facilities.

The participants won this chance to participate in three-month research projects through a €2 billion ($2.6 billion) government research fund for research and development of renewable technology.

As mentioned in a previous Eurokulture post by Li Tang, Germany has pledged to get at least 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Through a massive grant, the 80 percent by 2050 renewable energy benchmark and gathering smart young minds as well as instilling an interest in research in said field, Germany is clearly taking a proactive approach when it comes to renewable energy.

Learn more about Germany’s shift away from nuclear to renewable:

Andrew March, 25, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, won a grant in a 2010 and is now in Berlin working on his project that explores ways for companies to reduce resource use and greenhouse gas emissions. In a story by the Washington Post, March shared how he feels the U.S. and Germany differ on their views of renewable energy:

“Public reception is so important. I don’t think there is that mentality in the U.S. yet.”

Unfortunately, the U.S. lags behind in renewable energy goals and standards. The public perception in the U.S. has energy on the back burner compared to a few of our European counterparts. We simply either don’t care, or we have other issues we feel are more important at this moment.

I’m undecided if the U.S. should move away from Nuclear energy the way Germany has, but I hope that the culture can change soon in terms of our burning of fossil fuels.

Sources: The Washington Post, Bloomberg Business Week, The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).