CHAPTER 14 Sunny Prospects – Examples of Sustainable Energy Supply

The previous chapters covered the large spectrum of renewable energies available. Renewable energies will largely have to replace conventional energy sources during the next 20 years to keep the consequences of climate change within manageable limits. The modern use of these energies does not have decades of tradition to fall back upon. Their applications are often new and unusual.

Yet climate-compatible energy supply is not pie in the sky. A life beyond fossil and nuclear energy sources is already possible today. This chapter illustrates this based on impressive examples from different areas.

14.1 Climate-Compatible Living

Despite the pressing need to protect the climate, low-energy dwellings such as ‘three-litre’ houses or passive houses meeting the German KfW 55 or KfW 40 standards are still the exception rather than the rule. Most buildings that undergo restoration or renovation also fall short of meeting the standard for climate compatibility.

It is technically as well as economically easy to incorporate energy supplies that are low or neutral in carbon dioxide into new buildings in particular. It is far simpler to do this at the building stage rather than adapting the finished house in the future. Energy-saving adaptations are usually postponed until windows, roofs, and outside walls are due for refurbishment anyway. However, with well-constructed new buildings this can take many years. If energy prices ...

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