Thursday, August 23, 2007

(solar) power to the people

Way back when in the eighties, when I was young and green, Germany's Green Party, untainted by real government responsibility, had lots of nice policies in their programs, including the one that people who produce renewable energy small scale, e.g. with a solar panel on their roof, should be entitled to sell any spare electricity back to the providers. Very simple, very obvious, though we never really believed we'd get through with this in a capitalist world.

When the red-green coalition came to power, it very sneakily introduced this idea into a new law governing energy provision (living abroad by then, I actually missed it when it happened), without creating the storm I would have expected.

These so-called feed-in tariffs have since then become a major success story, as they have made private photovoltaic cells economically attractive, plus the idea has been copied by legislators in many other countries -- as I found out to my surprise when I researched a news feature for Current Biology.

Read my story here:

Current Biology 17, No 16 (21.08.), R616
Germany goes for solar

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