Arab Today, arab today switching to solar
Last Updated : GMT 08:55:20
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Switching to Solar

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Switching to Solar

London - Arabstoday

Who could be more different than Germans and Californians? The Teutons are supposedly uptight and bureaucracy-obsessed, while the American West Coasters are infamously laid-back and libertine. Yet it was these two that transformed solar energy into a zero-carbon power source that today decorates rooftops the world over. Solar energy’s coming out is a thrilling tale, which the American science journalist Bob Johnstone tells with verve and authority in Switching to Solar, now available on Kindle. Johnstone’s story flits back and forth across the Atlantic, but begins in 1970s America where some of the key breakthroughs were made in photovoltaics. In their initial tilt at solar, the Americans made a series of mistakes. Firstly, the common wisdom was that solar power would one day be produced by huge power stations. Secondly, it was the utility companies, not the giant oil companies, who were solar’s real enemies. “They understood,” he writes, “what remains the case today: every kilowatt produced outside their gates is a kilowatt they’ll never sell.” Lastly, the Americans were clueless about getting around the exorbitant price of the earliest solar panels. Meanwhile, in West Germany a powerful environmental movement had risen up, although the Germans were slower than the Americans in picking up on the potential of the sun and wind. It was innovations in policy, Johnstone argues, that kick-started Germany’s energy revolution and, principally, the feed-in tariff. Johnstone calls the tariff an “ecological masterpiece”, a law that requires utilities to buy clean energy from individual producers, for example, from farmers in the Black Forest with a wind turbine in a field. Importantly, the utilities must buy it – all of it, at all times – at a rate above the going market price. Johnstone chronicles the evolution of the tariff. One concerned citizen was Wolf von Fabeck, who, in the 1990s, launched a drive to force local utilities to connect private people experimenting with solar energy to the grid and to buy electricity from them. This was the first step towards decentralising Germany’s power supply. “The idea was that private owners of solar systems should be treated as if they were utilities,” explains von Fabeck. The feed-in tariff catapulted Germany to the forefront of global production in alternative energies. By last year, a thriving renewable energy sector in Germany employed 450,000 people. Back in California, an Austrian called Arnold Schwarzenegger had been elected governor. He had an eye on what was happening in Germany and even brought over European experts to advise him with the result that in 2008 and 2009 California, too, endorsed feed-in tariffs and the state’s residents now generate over half the total solar power in the entire US. Still, this boom has to be put in perspective. Solar power accounts for just 0.25 per cent of California’s total energy capacity. In Germany the figure is closer to three per cent. But the road is wide open. In just three or four years’ time, say experts, the price of solar-generated electricity will have dropped so much that the feed-in tariff will be abolished, a victim of its own success.

arabstoday
arabstoday

GMT 10:44 2017 Friday ,28 April

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched

GMT 09:22 2017 Friday ,28 April

Book fair success commended

GMT 08:10 2017 Thursday ,27 April

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched

GMT 09:09 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Braille reading contest winners honoured

GMT 07:10 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Deputy Premier patronises book launch

GMT 07:26 2017 Tuesday ,18 April

Abu Dhabi gears up for international book fair

GMT 12:19 2017 Friday ,14 April

Sharjah ruler launches book version
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today switching to solar Arab Today, arab today switching to solar

 



Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today switching to solar Arab Today, arab today switching to solar

 



Arab Today, arab today Designer Rania Adel reveals her new collection

GMT 17:59 2017 Monday ,12 June

Designer Rania Adel reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today France defies terrorism through tourism

GMT 15:18 2017 Saturday ,20 May

France defies terrorism through tourism
Arab Today, arab today Mai Al-Jeddawi presents décor ideas for Ramadan

GMT 10:44 2017 Friday ,28 April

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched

GMT 09:22 2017 Friday ,28 April

Book fair success commended

GMT 08:10 2017 Thursday ,27 April

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched

GMT 09:09 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Braille reading contest winners honoured

GMT 07:10 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Deputy Premier patronises book launch

GMT 07:26 2017 Tuesday ,18 April

Abu Dhabi gears up for international book fair

GMT 12:19 2017 Friday ,14 April

Sharjah ruler launches book version
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

GMT 09:49 2017 Tuesday ,02 May

Girl barred from Malaysia chess competition

GMT 08:48 2017 Saturday ,06 May

Climate science: Bad news gets worse

GMT 16:25 2017 Sunday ,04 June

“Suhoor” is basic meal for fasting

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 23:13 2017 Sunday ,18 June

New ransomware virus attacking mobiles in Oman
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday