Address to the Organizing Conference of the American Council for Renewable Energy Part 2

This is Part 2 of Scheer’s speech. The fifth element: we should leave behind us the restricted views on simply economic comparisons between Renewable Energy and conventional energy conversion technologies. Energy does not equal energy if we look at the direct multi-economic functions of Renewable Energy. The only economic function of Non-Renewable Energy is energy service. The economic benefits of Renewable Energy are the avoidance of immense conventional energy costs: transport costs, infrastructure costs, military costs, leakage costs and currency costs. Today more and more developing countries are paying more for the import of oil than they have export earnings. In the time of future fossil energy shortage this will become the experience of more and more countries and finally of the countries of the first world. Replacing fossil energy by Renewable Energy is a matter of macro-politics and macroeconomics and not of microeconomics. However, microeconomic cost calculations and comparisons are dominating nowadays the economic views and seem to be modern. This reminds me of the little tale of a hot air-balloon pilot who was driven away by a crosswind and landed on an unknown field. He asked a man on the ground: “Where am I here?” He got the answer: “On the field” – which showed three implications: It was absolutely precise. Nevertheless, the pilot could not deduce anything from it. And the man who gave this answer was obviously a modern economist. The sixth element is the unfair exposure of Renewable Energy to the market. The nuclear and fossil energy system gets annually subsidies of about US$300 billion worldwide. They received and still receive a lot of political protections. The electric power sectors became established everywhere in monopolized market sectors. Therefore, investments could be made free of risks and as a consequence the respective companies built up overcapacities. Based on these advantages new investments for Renewable Energy have unequal market conditions. No energy source was ever established without political support. Policy support for the initiation of Renewable Energy is a matter of market fairness for abolishing the existing bias. As long as the introduction of Renewable Energy is left to the same market standards like conventional energies, it is a double standard against Renewable Energies. The seventh element: Renewable Energies require new allies. We will not only find them among people in the traditional energy sector which are concerned about the future. The energy market for Renewable Energies is more a market for technologies and less a market for energy. We will find allies beyond the conventional energy sector in all our economic and industrial sectors which all will be the winners of an acceleration of Renewable Energies: the car industry who starts to look for new opportunities in using clean fuels, the construction industry who becomes aware of new opportunities of smart efficient and solar architecture, the electrical equipment industry – and, above all, the agricultural sector who will take over a new fundamental role in the whole economy by producing the basic resources for transport fuels and industrial raw materials replacing petrochemicals. We brought about the German Renewable Energy feed-in-act – our legal framework for the acceleration of wind power, PV, small-hydro and Bio-Electricity – by the support of the Environmental League, the farmers association, the association of machine-manufactures and the labor union and against the associations of electric power utilities. Our latest act, which was passed in parliament four weeks ago, exempts all biofuels for transport from tax, was opposed by the mineral-oil industry and the Federation of Industries – but it was supported by Daimler Chrysler, Volkswagen, the farmers association, the Environmental League and again the labor union. The eighth element is a psychological one: the supporters of Renewable Energies must overcome their inferiority complex towards the conventional energy system, whose supporters receive their self-confidence from the dominance of conventional energy sources. The self-confident of Renewable Energy supporters should be fed by a far stronger existing power – the power of the sun and its forever lasting benefits. The sun is not modest. The users of the sun’s power should follow its example. The success of every objective in societies depends on the question, if this objective can motivate the people and will get spiritual hegemony. Renewable Energies are the superior energy option for the people, because they stand for a real vision and a realistic hope. This cannot be realized with inferior feelings. Baring these eight elements in our mind and considering them in our behavior, the Renewable Energy Mission will get the spiritual hegemony. We have to create a global movement for Renewable Energies. The fight for it is a “No” against fatalism and a “Yes” for an ever lasting future. This movement works at the grass root levels, corresponding to the dispersed character of Renewable Energies. However, there must be a common global cooperation, based on our common idea. Renewable Energies require a forceful global voice for pushing them through -counseling and motivating international Governmental Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations to integrate Renewable Energy into their activities; -a priority for Renewable Energies in programs of international aid organizations and development banks. The “Agenda 21“ can only be implemented if Renewable Energies are put first as the true “Agenda 1”; -the establishment of an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for globally empowering “human capacities” – because there can never be successful implementation without it; -the creation of industrial standards for Renewable Energy technologies, the abolishing of trade barriers against Renewable Energy technologies, the cancellation of nuclear and fossil energy. That is why we founded the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and why Michael Eckhart initiated the ACRE as the American arm. I hope this will become the most forceful objective of the World Council – adequate to the American role on our globe. I would like to close my address with two phrases. The first one is an old Chinese saying: “If the wind of change blows, some build walls and the others build windmills” The second comes from Africa: “Put your face into the sun and you will leave the shadow behind you.” Let us put down the walls against Renewable Energy and highlight them for our societies’ future.
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