From Thursday, carnival revellers will again need plenty of energy: this is when the "fifth season" really hots up, and in the major carnival centers, some will be celebrating for full days and nights. If just one third of the population of Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mainz were to dance for ten hours a day from "Weiberfastnacht" – the Thursday before the carnival weekend – to Ash Wednesday, the energy consumed would equate to almost the entire production of the E.ON offshore wind park Amrumbank-West over the same period.
The body burns around 400 kilocalories an hour through dance. Ten hours on each of the carnival days would therefore require energy consumption of 24,000 kilocalories. If we assume that around one third of the 1.8 million inhabitants of the three carnival strongholds dance and celebrate in suitable style, then around 16 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy are consumed – around the same amount as the E.ON offshore wind park Amrumbank-West could produce over the same period.
Of course, this calculation does not take into account the ongoing consumption of food and drink that is all part of the carnival frenzy, which naturally impacts on the energy balance. This, combined with the very upbeat atmosphere and the relaxed mood, means that the Thursday before Shrove Tuesday, Carnival Monday and the days around them are far less hectic than they might appear at first glance.
And it’s with this in mind that E.ON says to all carnival revellers: a very resounding Alaaf or Helau, regardless of where and how long you dance and celebrate up to Ash Wednesday!