Europe gets it about energy, US continues snooze

solar panels on roof

Germany mandates all homes will have renewable energy by 2009, specifically for hot water heating. New homes must have at least 14% renewable energy while existing homes will be retrofitted to at least 10%. Most of this is expected to be done by solar.

Ireland bans incandescent light bulbs by 2009, this in response to lobbying by Greenpeace.

Why isn’t the US doing things like this? Congress continues sleepwalking on energy issues while Europe moves forward. And no, renewable energy is not anti-growth.

From Asymptotic Life

The Bali Communique, shepherded by Britain’s Prince Charles, was signed by over 150 leaders of various global businesses. They include GE, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Nokia, Shanghai Electric, and VW, among others– and call for a strong global commitment to address the challenge of global climate change.

The communique also said, “The shift to a low-carbon economy will create significant business opportunities. New markets for low carbon technologies and products, worth billions of dollars, will be created if the world acts on the scale required.”

So much for the idea that CO2 reduction is anti-business.

Yet the US government and both parties in Congress have done little here except to float ideas for voluntary carbon trading (yeah, like that’ll help much) or, even worse, pretend that coal can somehow be made clean. Their ignorance seems almost willful, a deliberate attempt to avoid the issues.