Germany Monday’s Travel Photos – the unexpected in Germany September 1, 2013 Rosemary Kneipp 6 Comments These are photos of things I saw in Germany that were unexpected. They may not be typical of the country at all but I didn’t see them anywhere else! Varnished tiles on a little building housing a fountain We were struck by how many houses and agricultural buildings had solar panels Solar panels on a traditional barn in a village I had never seen ice-cream cones like these before We came across this foot as we were cycling along the Danube This sign means that the car park is reserved for mothers with children This dog was sitting on the end of a church pew I was surprised to see this cigarette vendor on a private fence
6 thoughts on “Monday’s Travel Photos – the unexpected in Germany”
It’s good to see that all the things I am reading about how Germany is embracing solar appear to be true. Germany has ideal conditions for solar power — lots of sun but not too much heat (which causes the panels to be less efficient). Also all those abandoned cold war military bases can be put to good use with solar arrays installed (plus they are turning out to be excellent nature reserves).
There were fields of solar panels in several places, particularly between Regensberg and Munich. It was one of the first things we noticed. Sometimes, it rather spoils the scenery though as there don’t seem to be any rules about where you can have them. I’ll add another photo that was typical.
I aways found it deeply irritating that the only reason you could legitimately object to a wind turbine in the UK was if it ‘spoiled the view’. I wouldn’t have minded so much if you had been also allowed to object on the grounds that you were destroying habitat or disrupting wildlife or any other more serious reason. I am deeply pro alternative energy, but sometimes it is handled sooooo badly.
I am told that considerations of aesthetics are falling lower down the list in France now. Apparently you will not be refused planning permission now if you want solar panels on a building in a conservation area (ie within 500 m from a listed monument) even if the panels are visible (although I am sure you will be encouraged to place them as discreetly as possible).
I think aesthetics are important, but informed and sensitive pragmatism wins the day with me.
Well, when you consider the building laws in France, it’s surprising that they are allowing even “discreet” solar panels in some places. We can’t even choose the façade of our barn to fit in with the rest of our buildings because we are within a certain distance of a château yet there is a new house next door! I don’t know what they’d say about solar panels. When we go to the see the “architecte des monuments historiques” I’ll ask him just out of curiosity.
It was in Hungary that we saw fields and fields of wind turbines. In fact, when we stopped at a nearby service station, I had never been in a such as windy place.
I would have thought that the wind turbines destroyed the habitat though.
The reason the building regs get somewhat erratically applied is because the architect from BdF only has advisory powers. It is rare that a mayor will over-ride the architect’s advice, but it can happen, especially if the mayor thinks the architect is being too precious or purist or just a downright pain in the neck. Make sure the architect is familiar with your area. If you want to do something that he doesn’t approve of, provide photos of other similar places. Get him to visit the site (he is not allowed to refuse) and discuss everything with him. Most of all, make him your friend, show him you have the best interests of the place at heart, and if you want to do something different bargain for it by giving in on something else that matters less to you. Flatter his expertise and choose your battles.
Single wind turbines don’t disrupt wildlife but wind farms do, because the habitat is broken up by tracks between the turbines and regular maintenance surveys. Plus they each need an enormous hole in the ground filled with concrete.
Yes, that is actually the policy we’re using. Jean Michel has already seen him and he knows (and likes) the house from when the previous owner renovated. We’ve been madly taking photos and making sure that there are other places in the area that have the same kind of features we want to use. We’ll see how we go!