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Thursday, August 10, 2006

interesting article: german farm, solar energy use, value added...

Hot German July Doesn't Faze Farmer Who Reaps the Sun
By Mark Landler
The New York Times
Friday 28 July 2006

Buttenwiesen, Germany - Surely Heiner Gärtner is one of the only farmers in Germany, if not most of Europe, who greets the dawn of yet another cloudless day with anticipation rather than angst.

As Germany sizzles through what is expected to be its hottest July on record, crops are shriveling and farmers are growing desperate. Some have petitioned the European Union to allow sheep and cattle to graze on land normally off limits, because their own fields are scorched.

Here on Mr. Gärtner's 200-acre farm, however, the fields are covered with 10,050 solar panels, which soak up the sunshine and convert it into electricity. The ambient hum in the air is not the sound of insects but of transformers carrying a high-voltage current to the villages nearby.

"We've had so much sun," said Mr. Gärtner, 34, a wide-brimmed hat shielding his face from the rays. "It would be better if we could have this much sun with less heat. But you can't have everything."... read on at website...

posted by Alix @ 11:42 PM


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