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German Renewable Energy Pioneer, Hermann Scheer, Dies


BERLIN - Hermann Scheer, a member of
parliament who was a driving force in making Germany a world
leader in renewable energy, has died at the age of 66, his
Social Democratic Party said on Friday.

Scheer was the main architect of Germany's pioneering
Renewable Energy Act, which set up a system of incentives paid
for by utilities to encourage hundreds of thousands of home
owners and investors to build solar and wind power systems.

Thanks to the legislation, Germany gets 16 percent of its
power from green sources, triple the level of 15 years ago, and
wants to raise that to 30 percent by 2020. The law, passed by
the SPD-Greens government in 2000, has been adopted in more than
50 countries.

In Germany, it has led to the creation of more than 350,000
jobs. About half of the world's grid-based solar electricity is
produced in Germany, which now has about 18 gigawatts of solar
power capacity or the equivalent of 18 large coal-fired power

Germany is also one of the world's leaders in wind energy.

Scheer, named as one of Time magazine's five "heroes for the
green century" in 2002, won the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1999
for his commitment to renewable energy. Britain's Guardian
newspaper included him on its 2008 list of "50 people who could
save the planet".

Scheer advised governments and parliaments in Europe,
Africa, Asia and Latin America, and his books such as "The Solar
Strategy", "A Solar Manifesto" and "The Solar Economy" have been
published in English and other languages.

He was the founder and president of the European Association
for Renewable Energies (EUROSOLAR) and chairman of the World
Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) since 2001. The two
non-governmental organisations helped set up legal frameworks
for renewable energy in other countries.

(Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; editing by Andrew Dobbie)

from Democracy Now:

Hermann Scheer (1944-2010): German Lawmaker, Leading Advocate for Solar Energy and "Hero for the Green Century" in One of His Final Interviews:

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