Earlier this month we participated
in the International Conference on Renewable Energies, hosted by German
Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. Having promised this two years ago at the
Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development, the German Government
organized a pivotal event to accelerate renewable energy development.
for complete results)
The conference was attended
by delegates from 154 nations, 200+ media, numerous NGOs totaling
over 3000 participants. Organized very much like a United Nations event,
we saw nation after nation make commitments to renewable energy targets,
provide tax incentives, and shift investment from fossil fuels into the
renewable sector. Over 190 Action Projects were pledged by financial institutions
(like the development banks), national governments (eg. China
Is Going Green), and international institutions and corporations.
I believe that history will call Bonn the "tipping point"
for renewable energy on our planet.
GENI's recent newsletter, "Best Renewable Energy Policies from
around the World" was a popular document, providing the policy-makers
with a guide for what they can do at local, state and national governments.
There was a keen awareness that transmission access was the critical
link for many renewable resources. The best solar radiation, geothermal
or wind resources are often far from our cities requiring power
grids to transmit the electricity from the distant resource for our use.
My most interesting conversation
was with the Energy Minister of Afghanistan. I asked him what he needed
and why he was at the Bonn conference. He answered: "we need everything:
power plants, renewables, wires, substations, engineers, financial assistance
everything." It was a sobering reply, as he related that
most Afghan citizens had no electrical services for lighting, pumping
water or refrigeration. They are the reason we do this work and I thank
you for your support.
with your dollars by contributing to the sustainability of our planet.