Winning the Future Again

jimmy-carter-the-white-house-and-solar-panelsThe U.S. used to be a frontrunner in the clean energy race. NASA invented solar panels and Jimmy Carter put them on the White House. What happened? Two things, says Osha Gray Davidson in his new book Clean Break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn From It: policy and politics. Here’s how the U.S. can regain the lead and overtake Germany.

1. Set goals for the percentage of power coming from renewable energy. Germany passed a law requiring 80 percent of the country’s energy come from renewable sources by 2050.

2. Promote the use of small-scale, decentralized energy systems like rooftop solar and community-scale wind.

3. Celebrate every local clean-energy project in every district so Congress can champion energy transformation.

4. Integrate energy goals into a larger economic growth policy that includes investments in infrastructure, education, and workers. 5Stop denying climate change, start taking action, and adapt to current changes.

(Image courtesy of the AP via Texas Vox)