Germans installed 4,000 MW of new renewables last year.

Posted on December 11, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

In a recent article for Renewable Energy Access, Gipe reported1 that renewable energy sources supply nearly 12% of electricity generated in Germany. S.David Freeman

Under the German program, renewable energy producers are paid a fixed-price for feeding their electricity into the grid. This has led to a boom in the construction of wind turbines, rooftop solar systems and on-farm bio-gas plants.

In 2006 alone, German farmers installed 300 MW of solar photovoltaics on barn roofs. German homeowners installed an equal amount. Altogether, Germans installed 4,000 MW of new renewables last year.

“The current energy industry has quite masterfully succeeded in lulling many Americans to sleep on the dangers of the poisons they sell, while portraying renewables as a distant dream.” S. David Freeman

A feed-in tariff is a long-term, fixed rate for renewable energy, not pegged to the retail price of energy. The rate provide sufficient incentive, i.e., the price is fair, yet there is no undue profit. (Obscene profit is the gated province of Big Oil.)

In a presentation for the Oregon Department of Renewable Energy, Gipe recommends that a feed-in tariff, a.k.a., Advanced Renewable Tariff, should be sufficiently differentiated. The incentive should differ for differing technologies and for differing sizes & regions, which is a lot to ask of an Oregon legislator.

Flanked by state legislators, Governor Kulongoski signed SB 838, which requires 25% renewables by 2025 and a 50% tax credit for solar installations and manufacturing facilities. In absence of federal initiative, states are leading the way in solar energy development.

The United States needs to greatly improve combined heat and power from solar, wind, geothermal and bio-energy. Short of impeachment, this probably cannot happen until this time next year.


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