The Plum Tree in Energielabor Garden

The Plum Tree in Energielabor Garden

by Hans Holtorf, Germany (PPRE 1988/89)


On their graduation, the PPRE students of the batch 1988 / 1989 planted a plum tree in the Energielabor garden. Remember, this was the second PPRE batch. It was the first batch lectured in English. PPRE was called “Ergänzungsstudiengang Grundlagen der Nutzung Regenerative Energiequellen“– this is what it says on my certificate.

Group photo graduation 1988/1989 batch.  Photo credit Hassan Rakka, front row, second from right.

The research team which had built Energielabor and which ran most of the courses was “Physik Regenerative Energiequellen – PRE”.

End of August 1989, we, the members of that very batch, were upset that it was proposed by the staff of PRE, to plant the tree South-West of the Energielabor PV-generator. Shading problems were in our mind.

The plum tree has grown old and in autumn students harvest no more plums from this tree. However, the plum tree has seen PPRE develop; it has seen students of 29 batches, overall approximately 500 students from ~80 countries plus another 180 Students from 13 EUREC-batches. It has seen Renewables grow from a niche technology in Germany proposed by some highly motivated, wise and forward-looking nerds to an essential component of our electricity supply.

Today, this plum tree serves our students by giving shade for the lunch during the summer-term-lab-course on Thursdays – a crucial element in the PPRE summer term that has not changed throughout the life of the plum tree.

The lesson I learned is that efficiency of RE generators is only one of many issues we need to consider in our activities. Definitely, our lecturers were wise and foresightful when we planted the tree.

The plum tree in summer term 2017 giving shade to PPREs for their lunch. Photo Credit Jorge Mario Velez.

The plum tree in summer term 2017 giving shade to PPREs for their lunch. Photo Credit Saba Al-Sader.

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