April 20th, 2012
By Frank Byronn Glenn -- In the aftermath of the Japanese nuclear plant meltdowns last year,
the Germans looked at the monstrous disaster it was and simply made the decision, based on what is in the best interests of the German people, to close them all down and move on to better alternatives. And, to a great extent, the better alternatives were already well along the way toward installation and operation throughout the country.
In what could almost be referred to as the "energy miracle in Germany",
the Germans decided over a decade a go that they were going to make a substantial shift in energy policy from fossil fuels to renewable energies.
In a little over ten years the German people have gone from practically 0% solar energy
to approaching 20%. In a decade! And in that same amount of time, they exceeded the established goals set for mega-watts of electricity production at the end of that ten year stretch.
All they did was decide that that was what they wanted to do,
commit the time, energy, resources, and legislation to it, and did it.
The central component of the massive program was both simple and the stuff of genius.
The passed a law establishing rules for the German people to get loans for the purpose of converting houses and office buildings to solar. The government insured the loans, so there was minimal risk to the banks. Because there was virtually no risk, the government required that the loans be made at very low interest rates. If any loans were defaulted on, the government would back them 100%.
The banks were eager to make "no risk" loans. The German people,proper,
and businessmen throughout the country, were happy to convert to solar, because in most cases it cost them less than their old energy costs -- and at worst -- about the same. And because the German government did not make the loans directly -- it just guaranteed them -- it cost the government do money to do the program. And very few people defaulted on their loans because they made excellent economic sense from the get-go.
It's one thing if you just can't figure out a solution to a problem.
It's another if you're so committed to dismantling the agencies of good government in the United States and just turning it all over to the "malefactors of great wealth", that you're forced, for ideological and political reasons, to stand up on national television, palms up, and plead that the country is broke -- that we can't afford any of those "fancy innovations" the "european style socialists" like China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, and almost other third world country with two nickels to rub together seem to be able to do.
I mean -- it may be "european-style-socialism -- as Mitt Romney and the great wealth defenders love to cat-call,
but those socialist are in most cases just kicking our butts -- n healthcare, unemployment, exports, and, of course, energy. When are we going to quit criticizing the style of government of countries that are out "capitalist-ing" us, and yet still have lower inequality of wealth and income, a higher quality of life, generally, and lower unemployment rates, higher exports, and a healthier, higher quality of life and general well-being. When are we going to stomp chanting "American exceptionalism", when the only exceptions are full employment, high exports, universal healthcare, and an innovative and forward looking domestic solar energy policy and program. When do we hang our heads in shame -- and admit that the Emperor has no longer has any clothes?
By Frank Glenn • Posted in German Solar
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