Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Solar Craze Hits Cloudy Towns

Although far from being the sun-soaked capital of Europe, Germany is now at the epicentre of a solar revolution. For a little while now the German government has realised the potential of solar energy and the advantages of turning every consumer into a producer. Germany boasts more than 50 per cent of the world's installed solar power capacity, thanks to special subsidies, known as feed-in tariffs that give households with solar panels a fixed income for 20 years from electricity sold to the national grid.

As ordinary citizens realise the potential to make great savings, the government inches closer to creating a country independent of fossil fuels. Experts predict that in the long term solar energy may provide up to 30 per cent of Germany's power needs for electricity and hot water, compared with less than 1 per cent today.

Many regional authorities have heavily backed this sector, for instance in Marburg (central Germany) history was made this month as it became the first city to require households to install solar equipment as part of any house construction or renovation. They face €1,000 fines if they refuse.

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1 comment:

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