Posts Tagged ‘World Future Council’

3 April

Bold, Visionary Thinking On Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below). Be sure to click on “Translate” above if any of the articles is in a language foreign to you.

It is with exciting anticipation that I would like to share this news update with you, from our friend of the Wind persuasion, below: by Paul Gipe

Increasingly countries and regions are leapfrogging timid renewable targets and moving toward full 100% integration of renewables into electricity supply. Some thought leaders, politicians, and advocates are moving even further, suggesting 150%, even 300% renewable electricity generation to meet not only electricity supply but also heat and transport.

How times have changed.

When I began my career three decades ago, our demands were modest if not meek. We could hardly imagine wind supplying more than 10% of electricity consumption. Then the California wind rush arrived in the early 1980s, and we realized that wind energy had indeed come of age as a commercial generating technology.

Our expectations increased accordingly. Wind penetration of 20% then began to seem a reasonable objective. But we stumbled badly here in the US. We turned our backs on renewables during the Reagan era.

Meanwhile, Danes continued to erect ever more wind turbines throughout the 1990s. Soon Denmark was closing on 20% of supply from wind energy alone and it became apparent—again—that our targets were too modest.

Even then I remember writing that we advocates were not suggesting that renewables would completely replace fossil fuels. No we said, we’d always need fossil fuels for some portion of supply. Wind—and solar too—would just be parts of the resource mix, maybe a big part, but still just a part.

“Facts on the ground,” as they say, were changing faster than our thinking of what was possible. With experience in Denmark, followed by that in Spain and Germany came the realization that renewables were capable of growing much faster than we had ever anticipated. Reality was overtaking our imaginations.

Today wind turbines generate nearly 30% of Danish electricity. But of course that’s not all. The Danes didn’t stop with just wind. They’ve also been building hundreds of biogas digesters and waste-to-energy plants as well. Together, wind and biomass provide 44% of the electricity consumed by Denmark’s nearly six million inhabitants. And on 20 March, just after midnight, Denmark’s wind turbines alone were generating more than 100% of the Scandinavian country’s consumption.

The list of what was once unimaginable continues to grow. Portugal’s 10 million people produced more than half their electricity in 2010 from their own indigenous renewable resources. Spain’s 40 million people meet one-third of their electrical consumption from renewables.

All of this was accomplished with policies implemented before the climate crisis was fully felt, and well before Fukushima.

In retrospect, none of this should have been surprising. After all, in the early days of electricity much of it–if not all in some regions–was generated renewably with hydroelectricity.

What was different from then was the growing role of the “new” renewable technologies, such as wind, solar, biogas, and geothermal. Also new was the observation that if we are to address climate change we have to do something about fossil fuels in transportation and heating. This was brought home to me this past summer as I sat on a panel at the World Wind Energy Association conference in Bonn titled “100% Renewable Energy”.

On the panel were two long-time renewable pioneers, Preben Maegaard from Denmark, and Johannes Lackmann from Germany. Independent of each other, both had come to the same conclusion. To address climate change and energy security, we must move well beyond 100% renewable energy in electricity supply and build an integrated network capable of using more than 150% renewable energy, up to as much as 300% renewable energy to offset fossil fuels in transportation, and heating.

This is the kind of bold, visionary thinking that is being debated in Europe. As more countries and regions adopt what was once unthinkable—100% renewable targets in electricity supply—academics and thought leaders are asking questions about what it will take to go even further.

Meanwhile, the list of countries, states, and regions with 100% renewable targets continues to grow.


The most famous example of an ambitious target is Denmark. In the spring of last year the Danish energy minister and then holder of the EU Presidency, Martin Lindegaard issued the country’s 100% Renewable Energy Declaration.

Denmark proposes to meet more than 50% of its electricity supply with renewables by 2020, 100% of electricity and heat by 2035, and 100% in transport by 2050. “I think it’s doable, I think it’s necessary, and it’s also good for the economy,” said Lidegaard in the declaration.


Just south of the Danish border, the German state of Schleswig-Holstein has also set itself an ambitious target of 100% of interior electricity consumption by 2020.

The German states of Rheinland-Pfalz and Brandenburg have set their targets of 100% renewable for somewhat later, 2030. Brandenburg expects to meet its target in part by decreasing electricity consumption 1% per year and setting aside 2% of the state’s land area for wind energy.

The 2% rule for wind is quickly becoming the norm in Germany. This past winter, Schleswig-Holstein, which currently meets more than half its internal consumption with wind, announced that it was doubling the land area devoted to wind energy to nearly 2% to meet their renewable targets. Similarly, the German Wind Turbine Owners Association (Bundesverband WindEnergie) commissioned a study finding that Germany could meet its 2050 target for wind with 2% of the country’s land area.

The central German state of Hesse is less ambitious than its peers. Their target is 100% renewable by the more distant date of 2050.

For several years now, Germany itself has the objective of generating 80% of its electricity from Renewables by 2050. The debate has now shifted to how much sooner can they reach that target and at what will be the cost in doing so.

Germany is the hotbed of 100% Renewable discussion. This fall, the city of Kassell will host The 5th 100% Renewable Energy Regions Congress. Organizers note that more than 130 regions and municipalities have set themselves the target of providing 100% of their energy supply with renewable energy in the medium to long term.”

In fact it is small villages and towns that are driving the move toward 100% renewable energy policy in Germany just as they did with the introduction of feed-in tariffs in the 1990s. Because renewable energy is dispersed—distributed the experts say—even the smallest and most remote village can opt for locally-owned resources that offset not only their own consumption, but often much more.

Disclosure: I receive a grant from the World Future Council. The World Future Council is a co-sponsor of the conference Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy and I am a speaker at the conference.

Dardesheim bills itself as Germany’s renewable energy village, Jünde advertises as “the” bio-energy dorf, and the district of Rhein-Hunsrück along the scenic Rhine Gorge touts its target of 500% renewable energy by 2020.

In a dream come true for renewable energy advocates, German villages compete with each other for the title of who produces more renewable energy per capita. Winners are even feted with an annual award.


Talk is now shifting to European-wide targets for 2030 and beyond. All members of the European Union have binding—not “aspirational”–2020 renewable targets. Advocates are now suggesting that Europe itself could move toward 100% renewable energy by 2050.

The Austrian state of Upper Austria has set a target of 100% renewables in heat and electricity by 2030.

And of course Scotland has thumbed its collective nose at Donald Trump and set itself the very ambitious target of 100% renewables in electricity supply by 2020 mostly from wind energy.


And probably the most ambitious target of all is that proposed by Stanford academic Mark Jacobson in the US, and NGOs in Europe. Jacobson, the World Wildlife Fund, and others have shown that the world could produce 100% of its energy needs by 2050 with renewable energy.


Closer to home, dissatisfaction with the typically timid targets found in state Renewable Portfolio Standards has led new players in the renewable arena to challenge the traditional incremental approach of established NGOs. They argue that the times demand more aggressive action—targets that are ambitious enough to elicit the dreams and hopes of Americans–and the policies to match them.

Some communities, such as Greensburg, Kansas are taking action into their own hands. After a tornado leveled the city in 2007, the community decided to do things differently when they rebuilt. One of their objectives was to rebuild with 100% renewable energy.

Fortunately, Greensburg is not alone. Other cities across the country are taking up the cause. It is this ambition that has driven the first conference of its kind in the US, a conference on how to move American’s toward 100% renewable energy. Like the past four such conferences held in Germany, the conference features thought leaders, politicians, and academics at the forefront of this global new movement.

Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy will focus on 100% renewable energy targets and how to get there. Scheduled for 16 April 2013 at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco, the conference brings the discussion of the future of renewable energy full circle. California was the crucible where the modern renewable energy industry and its potential was forged. The state has long since given up its role as a leader in the renewable energy revolution, but the budding movement toward 100% renewable energy could re-awaken the Golden State’s pioneering spirit.

If you have any question or comments about this particular post, please email Paul Gipe at :

~have a bright and sunny day~

posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments or suggestions are welcomed below or at


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27 July

More On Feed-In-Tariff…Let’s Not Waste Our Sunshine And Surface Area Here In Florida And USA


If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at Thank you.

If you are concerned about energy security and independence, clean environment, and climate change…are in favor of renewable/solar energy, job creations, and economic prosperity for state of Florida and USA…then check out for information, by typing in various topics in the search box at right side of the web site, on: Feed-In-Tariff, Solar Incentive, Solar Cars, Solar Plane, Solar High Speed Trains, Solar Shingles, Solar Hot Water Heater, BIPV, Solar Cells, etc.  Please pay special attention to Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Programs for there is a series of 16+ episodes of discussions on Feed-In-Tariff, an incentive program that allows individual home owners, small businesses, organizations to sell the power they produce to the power company .

Talk to your friends, family, neighbors, and legislators about Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN programs and help us to make the transition into renewable/solar energy age in the coming century.  I was talking to a lady from Denmark at the Y the other day and she commented that she was surprised how little solar activities there are in Florida rooftops compared to Denmark.  For those of you who aren’t sure where Denmark is exactly,  it is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe, definitely with a lot less sunshine and insolation than what we have here in Florida.  Then the natural thing is to ask, why is this happening?  INCENTIVE, or lack thereof !  We need incentive for individual home owners, small businesses, organizations such as schools, Y’s, hospitals, etc. with rooftops and surface areas, that would provide us with sufficient economic incentive to move into the renewable age.  Here is an example (in the next video, with data provided by World Future Council) of another country, Germany, with far less sunshine and insolation than we have here in Florida,  but with the help of Feed-In-Tariff (key features listed below):

  • Gives RE (renewable energy) priority access to the grid
  • Obliges grid operators to purchase electricity from RES
  • Sets the price for RE electricity for fixed periods
  • Sets no limit to amount of RE feeding into the grid4

Feed-In-Tariffs have been so successful in Germany and many other countries because of the long term planning security it provides by having 12-20 year contracts ( this is crucial to investors);it gives technology-specific incentives (this is crucial for driving new technologies into the market);it adapts to technological development (this fosters innovation).

Germany was able to create more than a quarter million jobs in renewable energy sector in less than five years, economic impact of new industry development with total turnover from renewable energy sources of approximately  25 billion Euros in 2007, and saved about 150 tons of CO2 emissions…all due  to the help of Feed-In-Tariff.  Most importantly, Feed-In-Tariffs have made Germany the world leader in solar power.  Another important lesson to take away from the presentation of World Future Council video clip is the fact that majority (more than 80% in Germany & or 90% in Florida) of the market share is from residential rather than the utility scaled facility (about 10%).  That means we, the individuals, will have far more combined impact on the industry and would benefit from the industry of renewable energy via Feed-In-Tariff.  Please allow me to show you this clip right now:



My fellow Floridians and residents of USA, I know that Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) may not be easy to understand, so  I implore you to carefully view all discussions on this topic (Feed-In-Tariff) at by typing Feed-In-Tariff in the search box and listen to those people from different parts of the world who have implemented or benefited from this policy.  Our neighbors in Gainesville, FL, can attest to the economic prosperity FIT had brought them.  Why shouldn’t we all benefit from our generous sunshine?! Then talk and write to your friends, family, neighbors, and your state legislators about introducing this policy so your local communities may prosper.  We need and want more jobs and more small businesses to thrive and pave our way into the renewable energy age.  It is time…we cannot afford to sit idly by and be left behind.  Individually, we may not have millions of dollars to spend on lobbying for this policy, but I believe that our combined strength will enable us to achieve what is necessary to push this through.  After all, we here in USA, historically have a track record of doing what had been impossible.  In response to Rachel and  other readers of Sun Is The Future who want me to write more: if I put up a petition page, will you all be willing to sign the petition in showing your support for Feed-In-Tariff ?  Please keep checking back for future petition page(s).  In the meantime, Facebook, Tweet, or chirp your friends/relatives/family/neighbors/state legislators about Feed-In-Tariff.  I would also like to introduce you all to several organizations and web sites , listed below:

T  O  G  E  T  H  E  R        W  E      C  A  N !!!

sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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8 May

Incentive For Solar (9)-Feed-In-Tariffs-Germany’s Renewable Energy Program


Hi, Dear Friends and Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at Thank you.

There are two posts on May 8, 2011, and please be sure not to miss the Incentive For Solar (8)-Feed-In-Tariff if you haven’t already looked at/read  it.

In the race to save our planet, earthlings would benefit a great deal to learn from each other.

After you’ve seen and heard the experience and comments from the panel of American scientists, researchers, and policy makers from previous post regarding Feed-In-Tariff, I’d like to share with you the obstacles and rewards of the country, Germany, that is leading the way of renewable energy due to the inclusion of Feed-In-Tariffs in Germany’s Renewable Energy Program. In the following video clip, we will see Hermann Scheer MP, member of German Parliament, World Future Council, and the main architect for German’s Renewable Energy Act of 1999/2000, discussing trials and tribulations and ultimate success in having the three provisions of FIT as part of the German’s Renewable Energy Act and therefore in securing the growth and prosperity of German’s renewable energy industry, placing Frieburg, Germany, in the position of Solar Capitol of Europe. When the video was filmed, UK was not one of the countries that had implemented FIT, but that is no longer the case in 2011 (UK started FIT in April, 2010. Now let’s take a look what we can learn from

So, those of us earthlings in US, it is still not too late for us to join the race to save our planet!  Let’s find the optimal level of our Feed-In-Tariffs, then we should be able to stimulate the growth and local jobs and opportunities while racing toward the Sun and Renewable Energy Age!


Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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