Wednesday, November 28, 2012

German Clean Energy: Life Over Money

Germany is once again getting it done.  Already a quarter of their power grid is renewable and they have big plans for more.  So when someone says renewables are a technology or a free market problem in the US, that's baloney.  Case and point: the Germans.

When you read Truthdig's coverage of a recent renewable energy conference in Germany, you get just how much of an opportunity the US is squandering and the unfortunate irony of it all -- they even call it an American idea to begin with. 

Here's some: 

"Since 2000, Germany has converted 25 percent of its power grid to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. The architects of the clean energy movement Energiewende, which translates to 'energy transformation,' estimate that from 80 percent to 100 percent of Germany’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2050.

Germans are baffled that the United States has not taken the same path. Not only is the U.S. the wealthiest nation in the world, but it’s also credited with jump-starting Germany’s green movement 40 years ago.

'This is a very American idea,' Arne Jungjohann, a director at the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation (HBSF), said at a news conference Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C.

The largest difference, panelists said, between Germany and the U.S. is how reactive the government is to its citizens. Democracy in Germany has meant keeping and strengthening regulatory agencies while forming policies that put public ownership ahead of private ownership.

'In the end, it isn’t about making money. It’s about quality of life.'"


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