A View from David Appell

An Energy Role Model

Germany is showing how to get alternative energy done. Wind and solar, combined with higher taxes on carbon fuels, all while creating jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.The biggest solar energy power plant in the world just went online in…

  • December 21, 2004

Germany is showing how to get alternative energy done. Wind and solar, combined with higher taxes on carbon fuels, all while creating jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The biggest solar energy power plant in the world just went online in Bavaria, and is expected to quickly turn a profit. 16,000 windmills generate 39 percent of the world’s wind energy; wind and solar now provide more than 10 percent of the country’s electricity, a number expected to double by 2020. 60,000 people are employed in the design and manufacturing of wind and solar equipment. (Germany’s population is 83 million.)

“Close to 80 percent of Germans support the government’s strategy of promoting renewable energy sources and its staunch advocacy of the Kyoto Protocol’s obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.”

Gas taxes have just gone up by the equivalent of 15 U.S. cents per gallon, on top of already large amounts, of course.

These are the kind of steps needed if the specter of global warming is to be curtailed, to meet the challenge if and when oil supplies start to decline, and if the Middle East is to be stabilized. It’s too bad the U.S. is letting others take the lead.

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