Project Energy Code: Germany and Solar Energy

Most Americans support the development of renewable resources, and understand that in the future the cost of solar energy may be dramatically reduced. If that occurs, low-cost solar could play a large role in our resource mix. We do not know how much would be utility-scale power plants, and how much would be distributed solar energy, nor do we know what technology will be successful. Most Americans believe these changes will be good.

Americans disagree over how rapidly change occur, and they strongly disagree over the role of federal and state governments to pick winners and losers or to create subsidies for one group of stakeholders or another.

Take a look at another country, understand what they have done regarding solar energy, and begin to ask whether the lessons learned are relevant to the United States? Germany provides this opportunity. A new report gives a political-economic analysis of Germany’s industrial and energy policy.

Project Energy Code facilitates a discussion among energy professionals and social scientists about the “green gap” between consumers’ stated intentions and their purchasing behavior. Project Energy Code deepens our understanding of the economic, social, psychological, emotional, instinctual and subconscious “codes of behavior” that affect human energy consumption. Project Energy Code applies anthropology, economics and psychology to explore notions of sustainability.

Why have Germans supported government intervention in the energy industry and why are they willing to pay more for renewable energy? Is the German experience worth studying?

Germany’s decision to favor solar energy has become a part of fabric of German life. New institutions developed decades ago continue to this day. Germany has shown how to turn policies aimed at energy and environment into national industrial policy to create jobs. Get the paper and read it and provide comments here.

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