To the Person KIT Armin Grunwald , Professor of philosophy of Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute for technology (KIT) and head of the office for technology impact assessment-the German Bundestag.
MIRROR ONLINE: of The Expansion of wind energy is lame, the Coal phase-provides for dispute, the climate protection target for 2020 will be missed. Why do we find it so hard with the energy transition?
Grunwald: We have thought for a long time, that it is sufficient to replace the nuclear and coal – fired power plants by renewable energy sources and petrol and diesel vehicles by electric cars. And everything else remains as it is. Old technology out and new technology clean – so easy but that does not work. We have underestimated the complexity of the energy transition, massive.
MIRROR ONLINE: What do you mean exactly?
Grunwald: Because of the technical complexity. We must keep electricity supply and demand in equilibrium, if the proportion of weather-dependent Wind and solar energy will be very high. I am, however, optimistic that our engineers and scientists will fix it.
The much bigger challenge is something you at first didn’t thought of: The energy transition brings with it strong social changes. They established roles, rules, and business models into question, requires new ways of behaviour and say goodbye to the old habits. Our life is in the energy and mobility infrastructure adapted.
If we change these systems, we need to change ourselves. So, for example, to ask how we use energy. How hard the fall, we see a lack of willingness to change to electric mobility, which requires, Yes, because of the limited range and long charging times with a completely different user behavior.
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MIRROR ONLINE: needs sounds like a great social task. Can control the politics of this process at all?
Grunwald: If the governments provide financial incentives for a certain behaviour, helps of course. What does not work, however, is missionary Preaching, for instance in the kind: you have to save all the current!
Promising concepts such as “Nudging”, so a gentle Nudge that reminds us again and again that energy is a precious commodity and thus a change in behaviour triggers. The energy transition is not only a task for engineers, but also for psychologists and social scientists.
MIRROR ONLINE: opinion polls show that the General acceptance of the energy transition is still very high. Are you surprised?
Grunwald: no, because the energy transition is a response to climate change. And that something must be done against the increasing CO2 emissions, know the majority of people in Germany very carefully. However, it follows from this principle, the support of the energy transition does not necessarily mean that the citizens of wind turbines, or power lines in your neighborhood find a great thing.
MIRROR ONLINE: But the protests are in many regions, Yes, quite vehemently. How do they fit together?
Grunwald: If someone is worried that his house will lose because of a wind Park in the vicinity, it is understandable and legitimate that he is fighting against the construction. One of the other, deep in the Psyche-rooted cause: a feeling of alienation, of loss of home but not often. In some regions, for example in Brandenburg, have changed the wind turbines, dramatically, the image of the landscape. The hits some people to the Mark.
MIRROR ONLINE: , It often seems, than the people would have responded sooner otherwise on infrastructure projects.
Grunwald: Yes, in fact, the environmental movement has changed in the past few decades, the importance of nature in society. In the sixties, it has been understood for a highway through a forest as a sign of progress, starting from the eighties, however, as destructive.
Also, because of the notion of Landscape in the German is ultimately influenced strongly by the romance: The Ideal of a beautiful landscape does not consist of pre-industrial images technology.
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MIRROR ONLINE: you Can pacify the conflict between the energy transition and the concept of Home?
Grunwald: It is important to make the objection at all to the topic. Most of the time he is dismissed as a false problem which doesn’t need to be talked about. For many people, this Problem is very real. In addition, the residents should be involved as early as possible in the planning of new wind farms or power lines. However, it is also clear that the interests have not always compensate for. A financial compensation might be necessary.
MIRROR ONLINE: In history there have been many social upheavals have been triggered by a Transformation of the energy supply, for example by the replacement of wood by coal. We can learn the lessons for the energy transition?
Grunwald: At every break of this kind, there are not only winners but also losers. Established relationships are put into question, professional images disappear, people will have to shift, some people have to move – the company is mixed. This dynamic progress, creates a means for many people, but also a threat. You are not allowed to be left alone.
MIRROR ONLINE: in Concrete terms?
Grunwald: It is very important for the German brown coal districts in the future, programs will be placed, the decline of the coal industry, something New, something Positive. Just as important, however, is that the policy says to be honest: There will be losers. At the beginning of the turnaround in energy policy failed. At the time, was done so, as if all the citizens will benefit from the transformation of the energy system. This is not the case.