Fuel Fix » All eyes on German renewable energy efforts

December 30, 2011

… this month in Berlin, officials unveiled a prototype of a self-sustaining, energy-efficient home, built from recycled materials and complete with electric vehicles that can be charged in its garage.

The aim of the prototype home is to produce twice as much energy as is used by a family of four — chosen from a willing pool of volunteers who will be selected to live in the home for 15 months — through a combination of solar photovoltaics and energy management technology, in order to show the technology already exists to allow people to be energy self-sufficient.

“We want to show people that already today it is possible to live completely from renewable energy,” said German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer as the project, dubbed “Efficiency House Plus,” was unveiled. The house is part of a wider €1.2 million ($1.57 million) project investing in energy-efficient buildings.

“The Efficiency House Plus will set standards that can be adopted by the majority in the short term,” Ramsauer told The Associated Press. “The basic principle is that the house produces more energy than needed to live. The extra energy is then used to charge electric-powered cars and bicycles or sold back to the public grid.”

Germany’s four leading car makers are also participating in the project with BMW AG, Daimler AG, Volkswagen AG and Opel, which is part of Buick’s parent company, General Motors Co., each making an E-car for use by in the home.

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