Let’s Get Solar – Part 2

From Michael Laybourn

After advising Obama the way to go (see Solar Letter To Obama), I thought that maybe I would write down my reasoning to see how it held together. Time for some research. I knew Germany had created an explosion of alternative energy growth and has now become the worlds most advanced alternative energy country.

So, let’s take a trip to Germany.

How did Germany become the leading country for renewable energy production? It wasn’t fear of power outages or high gas prices but economic incentives that jump-started the solar revolution in Germany. (When I say solar, think renewable energy, including wind, biomass, geothermal, etc.)

“The rocketing growth of solar energy in Germany is the direct result of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act(EEG). The law guarantees that farmers, homeowners, and businesses can connect to the electric grid and the law spells out exactly how much they will be paid for their electricity and for how long.” – -Gerhard Stryi-Hipp of the German Solar Industry Association.

Unlike other mechanisms used to develop renewable energy, the German law asks for the active participation of its utilities, citizens and small businesses. German homeowners typically install solar systems about 3 kilowatt (kW) in size, sufficient to provide two-thirds of the electricity used by an average German home. German government instituted low interest loans and subsidies for alternative energy, then wrote into law that the utility companies had to pay a higher price for this new and clean energy they were getting from all sources, including the solar homes and businesses.

Continue reading Let’s Get Solar – Part 2

See also Passive Solar Design – Part 1 at The Oil Drum


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