The International Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts global temperatures to rise 1.4?C-6?C by the end of this century. Experts warn of a severe impact to the environment if the rise in the average global temperature can't be kept to under 2?C. This would require a reduction by 30 percent in the emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. For developed countries this translates into a reduction of 80 percent. The main focus must lie in future energy policies and the development of renewable energy sources.
Since the late 1990s, to fulfill these ambitious goals, the German government has started to promote the use of renewable energy sources. The legal framework has been formulated in the Renewable Energy Act, implemented in April 2000, regulating take-off obligations and fixed-price agreements. Since 1998 Germany's renewable energy production has grown steadily from 5.2 percent of the total to 8 percent in 2002. The projected goal is 14 percent by 2010.
Visitors to Germany will notice that the use of wind energy is booming; everywhere wind energy turbines can be seen. In total 14,283 wind energy plants with a total energy output of 12,828MW have been installed. The next technological step is already underway as can be seen in the development of offshore wind parks. By 2010 an additional 2000MW-3000MW will be generated. Long term plans to 2030 forecast the potential for 25 percent of Germany's energy needs to come from power generated in land and sea wind parks.
The development of Photovoltaic Systems (PV) achieved 180 million kWh, or 0.03 percent of total power generation, in 2002. For 2003 an increase of 50 percent is expected. More research and development is being conducted to increase the efficiency of photocells and lower production costs. An important step can be seen in the combination of construction materials and photocells for roofing and facades. PV systems are an important factor in the development of "climate conscious buildings," together with new insulation materials, solar cooling technologies and solarthermic equipment. In terms of the number of PV systems installed, Germany is leading the way in Europe, and worldwide it is second only to Japan.
The Bio-Mass Directive of June 2001 promoted the use of biomass -- wood, bio-waste, animal waste and other organic waste -- to produce heat and electricity. In 2002, some 100 biomass power plants generated 400MW of electric power, while more than 1,900 biogas facilities provided an additional 250MW. The introduction of bio-diesel at more than 1,300 gas stations stimulated an increased demand for this new fuel. The production of bio-diesel increased further from 550,000 tonnes in 2002. Forecasts for 2003 predict an increase to 650,000 tonnes. In May 2003 the European Parliament set a target of 5.75 percent of European fuel consumption coming from bio-gasoline.
Hydropower is well developed and accounts for 4 percent of the power generated in Germany annually. No major increase in this source of renewable energy is foreseen due to the topographic situation.
Geothermal energy is exploited in 34 large facilities. More research and pilot projects are needed to fully develop this natural source of energy. Recent research shows a substantial potential for this source of heat and power generation. In the future, up to 60 percent of Germany's power supply may well be generated from this source of energy.
To promote the development of renewable energy abroad, the Export-Initiative Renewable Energy was implemented by the German government in 2002. A total of 28.5 million euros is budgeted to promote German technology in the field of renewable energy and assist the industry to develop export markets.
To strengthen the global dialogue on future energy policy, the German government initiated the idea for a world conference in 2004. Renewables 2004 will take place from June 1 to June 4, 2004, in Bonn. The financing of renewable energy, the legal and political framework as well as research and development are the main topics of this event. At this conference, national and regional action plans will be discussed and implemented.
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
Don Quijote, the biggest discount store in Japan, is opening its first store in Taiwan today. The three-story Don Don Donki store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, which operates 24 hours a day, has already created 400 jobs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a press release. Many Taiwanese, including Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), consider a trip to Don Quijote an essential stop in Japan. “I have been to Don Quijote at least 10 times myself,” Huang said yesterday at a news conference announcing the store’s opening. “They are rendering an important service, because we cannot travel
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same