The German Incentive
WORDS: Tom Williams (Youth Editorial Group & Climate Change Champion for Wales 2008)
The German Incentive: why should I act?
Energy efficiency can SAVE YOU MONEY.
One German scheme can actually MAKE YOU MONEY.
And here’s how?
This German incentive has been described as a “pension plan” and will provide a constant source of income as long as we need energy? and that will be, of course, forever.
How does it work?
It is called the FIT scheme (Feed-In-Tariff), and has 3 quintessential parts:
1. You have the right to feed in any electricity that you produce into the national grid, and the power companies have to accept it.
2. You are paid 4 or 5 times the tariff for the electricity you generate, making you lots of money. In other words, your green energy is sold at 4 or 5 times the price that normal (non-green energy) is sold for. This is for a guaranteed period of 20 years.
3. There is no limit to the amount of electricity you can feed in.
The reactions of the public
The public have loved this scheme. They are enthusiastically erecting wind turbines and covering their roofs with PV cells (solar panels) to make an easy difference with climate change and make money. With this scheme it is quick and easy to recoup the cost of installing the PV cells and wind turbines, and consequently you can make a lot of money.
Energy companies buy the energy made by individuals and communities at the higher rate set by FIT. This makes it self-financing, and requiring no expenditure by the Government, so everyone’s happy. Despite this, the price of energy is lower in
The reactions of the energy companies
They were unhappy, of course, because they lost control of energy. They challenged it three times, and failed on each and every occasion. They took it to the German Parliament, the German courts, and the European courts. None of these opposed the scheme.
After the dust settled?
Germany now has 20 times more renewable energy than the
Germany is at the heart of the renewable energy industry, and is challenging the world to follow suit.
Much of the world is following suit, but not us. Feed-in tariff laws were in place in 46 jurisdictions across the world by 2007. In fact we have been singled out by the UN as the European country making the least progress in the introduction of renewables. What are the excuses? We can take on climate change, and win. It is not too late. We can even make money from this dire of direst situations. There is hope for everyone. There is a chance for everyone, if we just push for this scheme. You can do this by:
o Writing a letter to your local AM, MP and Councillor.
o Writing to your local and national papers.
o Posting this link on your Facebook or MySpace account and emailing it around all of your contacts.
o Spreading the word on this scheme and on climate change itself.
The fact is acting on climate change now would require only 1% of the world’s total economic output, whereas doing nothing will require about 20% - 1/5 of everything we ever make would have to be spent on climate change. We have all seen in recent times that money savings can collapse. But energy will always be in demand, so will always provide a certain income. If there was ever an incentive to join in tackling climate change, it was the German Incentive. Remember that name: ‘Feed-In Tariff’. It may just be the part of the solution to climate change we’ve all been looking for. But also, remember, that supplies of coal, oil and natural gas are running out, and so we need renewables. Why not get them now, and make a positive difference with climate change, and make bundles of money whilst you’re at it.
The world is moving, are you?
Be part of the solution, and visit:
o http://new.wales.gov.uk/about/cabinet/writingtoministers/?lang=en to write to the AMs.
o http://www.mediauk.com/newspapers/13872/south-wales-echo to find details of where to send your letter to the Echo.
o http://www.facebook.com/ to log in or register so you can post this link
o http://www.myspace.com/ to log in or register so you can post this link
For more information on the Climate Change Champions (my role), visit: