What springs to mind when you think of Germany in October? Yes, Oktoberfest. But is it crass or cool? This month we explore a not-dissimilar parallel question, because in clean energy, “Made in Germany” has cred. Is this still true? We explore this and all things German…
Ask the average traveller what springs to mind when they think of Germany this time of year. Odds are that they will mention the Oktoberfest.
Given the scale of the world’s largest folk festival it’s hard to blame them. What began 200 years ago as a royal wedding celebration is now almost universally considered a crass commercialised affair. Yet those looking beyond the stereotypes are often pleasantly surprised. There is exceptional food to be had at the festival, along with fine wines and genuine joie de vivre.
For folk in the renewable energy business, we almost think of Germany as a spiritual home. The world’s largest inverter manufacturer SMA was born and lives there. The default stamp of quality for solar panels is “German-engineered” and “made in Germany”.
Over the course of this month we look at these market perceptions. Are they still true? Is it more expensive as a result? Are German manufacturer warranties more reliable? Paul Brockbank will look for the truth behind German product superiority in this day and age.
Germany is also a leader in having one of the largest levels of renewables in its electricity system. This is especially topical for us here in Oz, with recent outages in SA being blamed on its high level of renewable energy penetration. So is Germany a reasonable comparison?
Finally, Paul Malcolm will look at how to keep the beers cold most efficiently. Refrigeration is one of the largest loads for retail, hospitality and logistics companies. What are the most energy efficient solutions?
Check back to the Perdaman Advanced Energy website for these stories and more during October, or follow us on Twitter for updates.