German state set for 100% renewable this year, Aiming For 300%

Germany’s northernmost state Schleswig-Holstein lies on the base of the Jutland Peninsula between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

It will produce as much green electricity as it consumes over the year for the first time in 2014. It also plans to eventually generate as much as 300% of its electricity from renewables. This is a big achievement as eight years ago it generated about 30% of its electricity from wind power.

Two years ago the state’s planed to go 300 percent renewable, a target that then-Environmental Minister Peter Altmaier did not doubt the state could reach.

This year, Schleswig-Holstein will cross a symbolic milestone towards that goal by producing as much renewable electricity as the state consumes in electricity (including conventional) over the year as a whole – meaning that the figure is a net calculation, not that the state can do without interconnections to Denmark and other parts of Germany. Indeed, the state needs the grid both to sell its excess renewable power and to purchase conventional electricity.

In April, the state’s Energiewende Minister told German website Klimaretter that the government’s new target for 40-45 percent renewable electricity by 2025 is not enough to offset the drop in nuclear power by the end of the phaseout in December 2022 – a statement that stretches the case.

In 2013, Germany met 25 percent of its domestic power demand from renewables, with nuclear making up around 15 percent. Renewables would therefore need to grow by 15 percent to completely offset nuclear, putting the country at 40 percent renewable power by 2022.

Sources: Renewables International, and

Wind Turbine Workshop with Hugh Piggott June 2012 in Leitrim

Once again we had a wonderful “Hugh Piggott – Learn to Build Your Own Wind Turbine” workshop near Keshgerrigan, in Co Leitrim. We had a great site for the workshop on a few acres of Leitrim countryside, luckily in an area that the midges were not too familiar with. There was camping accommodation available for the workshop participants who wanted to stay on site and many did camp.

We had a purpose-built, fully equipped camp kitchen – the most important piece of equipment was Sue, the workshop Cook Extraordinaire! We were lucky with the weather and were able to dine outside most days. Sue’s Alive ‘n’ Cooking Cafe, was also a very popular place to stop for a coffee and a chat during the day.

We had an international group again this year with some people traveling many miles – from as far away as Cork and China!

We built a 4.2m 48volt turbine for the farm that hosted us, using neodymium magnets and western red cedar for the blades.

We also built a 2m, 24volt turbine, using ceramic magnets and a different blade profile (also western red cedar), that we will erect at Eirbyte to monitor for the next year or so.

The workshop had a musical flair with impromptu sessions held many evenings, around the campfire when the weather permitted and in the workshop building when it was rainy.

Photos thanks to:
Hugh, Mayt, Diego and Bas

[nggallery id=7]

Introduction to Building Your Own Wind Turbine

We are back at Irish Seed Savers in County Clare on Saturday 24th March to give a one day workshop.

It’s a a taster of a build-your-own workshop – the goal is to give you a realistic look at the various parts of building a Hugh Piggot designed wind turbine. We will discuss the various parts of the project, the materials, tools and equipment needed as well as the other components of a wind energy system.

You can try out some blade carving using hand tools to get a feel for the process. Some people are quite happy to undertake a turbine building project by themselves and this introduction will allow you to gauge the skills required and the likely time involved.

We will also discuss the various turbine sizes and the other components required to get yourself up and running.

For booking contact:
Irish Seed Savers Association,
County Clare

Online booking page    Tel 061 921856/921866