Strange Teutonic Vegetables

I read in today’s Grauniad of a shift in energy policy by Germany, spear-headed by their leader – Angela Merkel.  Germany, as is well-known, is the frequent victim of major earthquakes followed by tidal waves sweeping in from the Baltic and so, in the light of recent, tragic events in Japan, closure of their nuclear power stations will be accelerated – rather than delayed as previously planned.

This leaves a bit of a gap to be filled in their electricity supply – well, that or sitting in the dark – and Ms Merkel’s preferred option is wind power, especially off-shore.  This is not universally popular, as evidenced by the fact that the Germans refer to wind turbines by the rather disparaging sobriquet of “asparagus”.  Now, more astute readers may have deduced that I have a fondness for asparagus – but the vegetable that I eat looks nothing like a wind turbine.  I can only assume that German asparagus is very different from our local cultivar – it must be a rather strange-looking, bladed vegetable.

This story also contained the best bit of re-branding I’ve seen for a long time.  New transmission lines – those lines of transmission towers (or pylons to the uninitiated) and wires that stride across the countryside, normally to a storm of protest and disapprobation – are being referred to as “eco highways”.  These are needed to move power from the north – where the shore and thus, wind is (or soon, will be) – to the south – where the nuclear power is (or soon, was).  I think it remains to be seen if our Teutonic cousins fall for this cunning piece of marketing…

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