Switching to renewable energies – thought experiment (part 2 out of 3)

Switching to renewable energies – thought experiment (part 2 out of 3)

  • Posted by Gerhard Pramhas
  • On 12. September 2022


The use of renewable energies raises many questions. In the first part of this blog series, we already dealt with the topics of how self-sufficient private households can really live. This time, several considerations are in focus: Is it possible to generate renewable energy regardless of the weather? Which kWh can be generated in the most environmentally friendly way? Does price regulation make sense?

An assumption about renewable energy right at the beginning: The only reasonably stable source is hydropower. But even this is not available in the amount we need in winter with little sunshine and – as we had to learn painfully this year – even in dry summers. It is therefore of particular interest to generate energy independently of the weather and climate. Storage power plants such as Kaprun and Lake Achensee are interesting here. Because they are the only serious way to store electricity on a large scale. The current situation surrounding gas and oil dramatically complicates the initial situation. How is this supposed to end? Do we have an exit plan from dependence on caloric energy?

Importance of using available renewable energy

In the long term, this calculation can only be achieved by consistently using all renewable sources: sun, biogas, wood, wind and last but not least, and this is perhaps the greatest source, consistent energy saving. I am sure that many TWh in Austria can be avoided in this way. The most environmentally friendly kWh is also still the one that does not have to be generated. But where can you start with this thought and, above all, how does consistent energy saving work? It won’t work with price alone. For example, if caloric energy is only very expensive but still available, nothing will change in the behavior of a large population group and wealthy businesses.

Regulation for effective energy saving

Imagine driving down the highway at 100 km/h and being passed at 130 km/h or more by others who don’t need to economize. This creates dissatisfaction and reduces effectiveness, because the more evenly the traffic moves, the better the speed brake works. Physics cannot be tricked. The air resistance increases with the square of the speed and thus the fuel consumption increases enormously. The behavior of the individual can have little effect here; comprehensive state regulations are needed. But when will this finally happen?

I am looking forward to your opinion on this. Feel free to write to me using the contact form or contact me on LinkedIn. And stay tuned – in addition to part 1 and this post as part 2 of this series, part 3 will follow soon!