Germany is seen as leading the world’s renewable energy revolution. In less than a decade it ramped up electricity from renewable energy from 4% to more than 20%. The political consensus to phase-out nuclear power by 2022, to fight climate change, and to switch to an energy system based almost entirely on renewables, provides a high certainty for investors. Policies do matter. Well designed policies such as the Renewable Energy Act, a feed-in tariff policy that has been copied by dozens of countries around the world, are allowing citizens to produce their own energy.
“It is a bottom up switch”, says Arne Jungjohann, Program Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in an interview on the Dylan Ratigan Show. The German people are on board; whether this is the home owner producing his own energy with solar panels on the roof or the farmer who became an energy producer by investing in a wind farm or biogas power plant. Whole villages develop strategies to move away from coal and nuclear power to renewable energies. They form energy cooperatives to get organized. New ownership models and decentralized solutions make people independent and provide the freedom of choice for everyone.
What experiences does the German energy transition provide for other countries such as the U.S.? Arne Jungjohann points at the enormous opportunities for the U.S. to move toward a similar direction. In comparison, the U.S. shows even greater potential than Germany to switch toward green energy sources. Given the fact that Germany is on average as sunny as Alaska, one begins to imagine what great potential the US holds to join Germany on the forefront of the energy revolution.
Click here to watch Arne Jungjohann on the Dylan Ratigan Show