European Solar Prize
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The first visitors arrived on time at 2 pm on Saturday afternoon in the foyer of the EUROSOLAR office in Bonn. The weather was initially dominated by renewable energies: The sun was shining and a strong wind was blowing. At the beginning of the programme rof. Peter Droege, President of EUROSOLAR, welcomed the guests.
He praised the commitment of the past 30 years, but also made it clear that, in view of the escalating climate crisis, the targets had to be clearly tightened: 'Zero emissions are still too much at the present time, 100 percent renewable energies are still too little,' the President declared forcefully. He was succeeded by Dr. Axel Berg, Chairman of EUROSOLAR Germany. In view of the enormous technological progress, he was optimistic that EUROSOLAR would not need another 30 years to achieve its goal, because renewable energies are becoming cheaper and cheaper, while the continued operation of fossil and nuclear power plants is becoming more and more expensive. Angelica Maria Kappel, Mayor of the City of Bonn, then gave her welcoming address. She emphasized the commitment of the city of Bonn to renewable energies and the good cooperation with EUROSOLAR as annual partner in 2018.
Finally, Irm Scheer-Pontenagel, co-founder, managing director from 1988 - 2015, honorary member of the board and still active editor of the publication SOLARZEITALTER, addressed the guests. Her personal look at the beginnings of the organisation and the movement for renewable energies made clear the special role EUROSOLAR plays as a civic association between all the environmental and industrial associations. To this day, the consistent focus on renewable energies and the independence from EUROSOLAR has borne valuable fruit.
In the following, Mrs Scheer-Pontenagel conducts entertaining interviews with some of the founding members present and long-time companions. Among them EUROSOLAR treasurer Rosa Hemmers, Sigrid Henke, Wolfgang Roth, Christoph Habermann, Franz Alt and Harry Lehmann. All of them were proud and happy to have founded EUROSOLAR together with Hermann Scheer and delighted the audience with their personal memories of the early years and, of course, with the encounter with Hermann Scheer, which left a deep impression on everyone.
Afterwards, the renowned magician of renewables, Francesco Altini, provided amusement with his grip in the bag of tricks. With excellent regional organic food and a glass or two of beer and wine, lively discussions developed about what had been achieved and the challenges ahead. And of course one or two anecdotes were exchanged.
You can find some impressions of the event here.