With his courageous vision, his uncompromising commitment to the energy transition – the Energiewende – and his powers of persuasion, he changed politics.
“Many who were ahead of their time had to wait for it in very uncomfortable accommodations,” wrote Hermann Scheer’s favorite writer Stanislaw Lec. This was true of Scheer, who has been committed to renewable energies since the early eighties. Despite enormous progress, the accommodations have become even more uncomfortable since then. EUROSOLAR is struggling in a time that is experiencing targeted setbacks despite massive breakthroughs for a renewable economy. In a time of great climate crisis the demand “100 % renewable now” has become existential.
Hermann Scheer’s perspective was far-reaching: “The comprehensive mobilization of renewable energies is at the centre of new economic policy, agricultural policy, social policy and environmental policy – and above all peace and development policy,” he once wrote in the magazine Solarzeitalter. Today we have gained an additional insight: The emission of greenhouse gases has been so great in recent decades that a massive surplus has formed in the atmosphere which must be reduced. Therefore, a completely renewable energy supply is essential, but no longer sufficient.
This maxim sets the course for the Regenerative Decade, which EUROSOLAR’s Board proclaimed in its first meeting in 2020 – after a decade of constant appeals and proposals, many of which have faded away all too lightly. But now they are echoed in the calls of young people from the Fridays for Future and the Extinction Rebellion movement and many other organizations ranging from fossil divestment foundations to the Defense of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights.
Hermann Scheer called for the ultimate acceleration of the energy revolution
Today we know: This is not the ultimate goal. It is the basic prerequisite for action that guarantees a stable and viable climate on earth. “Thus the RED Alert is a call for an unprecedented and urgently needed Regenerative Decade, in which the complete supply of renewable energies is the minimum requirement. It will make our world more resilient and socially just in the long term – in a way that encourages and secures the future”, explains EUROSOLAR President Prof. Peter Droege.
“Thirty years ago, Hermann Scheer wrote a book on the Solar Strategy, in which he explains why the fossil-nuclear waste economy must be replaced by a global solar economy. At the time he was ridiculed. Today the world is changing. I would have loved Hermann, but also all of us, to see him, at the age of 80 or 90, experience a world that has become fairer, more peaceful and more sustainable – through renewable energies”, says Dr. Axel Berg, Chairman of EUROSOLAR Germany and a long-time companion of Scheer.
The father of the German Renewable Energy Act and initiator of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was President of EUROSOLAR, the European Association for Renewable Energy until his death. He received several awards for his commitment: in 1998 he received the World Solar Prize, in 1999 the so called “Alternative Nobel Prize” – the “Right Livelihood Award”. The American Time Magazine honoured him in 2002 with the title “Hero for the Green Century”.
Regenerative Decade – Regenerative Earth Decade – in the sense of Hermann Scheer:
In line with EUROSOLAR’s Europe-wide board decision to launch a comprehensive campaign of the Regenerative Decade, EUROSOLAR President Peter Droege calls for mobilization in six ways – the six themes of the Regenerative Decade, which have already been outlined by Scheer. These represent our overarching program.
The comprehensive mobilization of renewable energies as the centre of new economic policy
The comprehensive mobilization of renewable energies as the centre of new agricultural policy
The comprehensive mobilization of renewable energies as the centre of new social policy
The comprehensive mobilization of renewable energies as the centre of new environmental policy
The comprehensive mobilization of renewable energies as the centre of new peace policy and
The comprehensive mobilization of renewable energies as the centre of new development policy
We will systematically address these issues, with renewed vigour, and in union with all our Sections, our members, the WCRE and many organizations that strive for a regenerative world.