“I am really angry”
According to the happiness atlas, the happiest Germans live in Schleswig-Holstein. This inevitably also applies to Ove Petersen, CEO of GP JOULE, a company based in Reußenköge in Schleswig-Holstein that specializes in building and operating wind and solar parks as well as converting green energies into hydrogen.4 May 2022
If you want to see how quickly happiness turns into anger in Schleswig-Holstein, you only have to ask what Petersen thinks of the last decade of German energy policy. “I am really angry. Germany has not significantly expanded renewables or developed a solution that makes renewable energies equally usable for all sectors. If politics had not been so misguided in recent years, we would not now be so dependent on Russian gas.”
Petersen points to Germany’s drastic restrictions on renewable energy production since 2012 as well as to sector coupling – linking together electricity, heating and mobility networks to feed excess electricity from renewable energies into heating and mobility. For example, by using green electricity to generate hydrogen, which in turn could be stored in the natural gas grid and could supply buildings or industrial plants. The goal is to use excess green energy in the right place at the right time.
If we had done all of these things, then we would not have to shut down wind turbines today because of energy we cannot save. “Here in the north, we have had wind turbine shutdowns of several million kilowatt hours for 13 years,” says Petersen. “And at the same time, the government is flying abroad to allegedly buy hydrogen from the United Arab Emirates.” With just a few technical and legal adjustments, it is possible to make the excess electricity available to other sectors. For example, we could convert existing natural gas networks to hydrogen. “We need an energy system that we can use quickly and does not limit us to feeding renewable energy according to grid expansion. That would be fatal,” adds Petersen.
“In order to achieve the government's climate targets, we need a triad of massive addition of green energies, massive expansion of storage capacities – keyword flexibility – and consistent energy saving,” explains Petersen. He sees hydrogen as the key: “A successful and therefore rapid energy transition will only be possible with compact production of storable hydrogen from wind and solar power.”
When asked whether Robert Habeck, former Minister of the State of Schleswig-Holstein and current Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, visited GP JOULE, Petersen replies, “No, we invited him several times, but unfortunately it has not happened so far.”
Maybe it will work out at HANNOVER MESSE, where GP JOULE presents its vision of the energy system of the future there. Habeck will visit the show.
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