Monday, November 19, 2012

In My Dreams

File:Mafate Marla solar panel dsc00633.jpg
Last week I read on Common Dreams about Germany's green energy policy.  I already knew that Germany, a country much further north than the United States, was getting a significant amount of its energy through solar power.  However, it's even better than that.  In following Jimmy Carter's energy program, Germany gets 25 percent of its power through clean, green renewable sources:  solar, wind, and biomass.  They expect to generate 80 to 100 percent of energy through renewable sources by 2050.  So while Americans watched as Ronald Reagan ripped solar panels off the White House, Germany slowly pushed forward with the plan to be energy independent.  

As we hear about the need to drill for oil in pristine and ecologically sensitive areas so that we can be more self-reliant in our energy needs, as we helplessly stand by when oil spills such as the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon damage the environment, and while we watch oil rigs explode in the Gulf of Mexico, killing and severely injuring workers, we need to pause and consider whether or not we are on the right path.  Energy independence and a clean environment can both be achieved.  Germany is showing that it is possible.


EcoGrrl said...

I wish they'd subsidize this instead of oil companies - THAT is how we'd be energy independent as a country! Of course BP & Exxon wouldn't like that, gosh darn it.

For me, the $20K investment in solar (or even the leasing programs they have now) is just financially not viable, because I spend <$500 a year on my electric bill. Even me, EcoGrrl, can't justify that expense - with tax incentives I could get it to about half that, but who has the upfront $ for that? Makes me sad.

Cherie said...

EcoGrrl, I'm envious of your electric bill. We talked of doing solar but it isn't feasible for us, either. Plus in Virginia, we can't sell our excess.