German State Requires Solar Panels On New, Non-Residential Buildings

Good News Notes:

If, say, a monster was threatening the future of humanity and the only way to defeat it was to stop feeding it pollution, there’s a good chance governments would take strong steps to cut pollution urgently. Unfortunately, despite everything above being the same except that the word “monster” should be replaced with “climate catastrophe,” most governments have been excruciatingly slow to implement strong anti-GHG pollution policies.

The truly amazing thing is that it’s not even hard to make the shift away from pollution. Solar power and wind power are cheaper than new fossil fueled power plants in most places, and could replace existing fossil fueled power plants at negligible cost. Meanwhile, building these renewable energy power plants creates numerous jobs, which boosts the economy. So, in net, it is simply sensible to develop renewable energy power plants at a rapid pace.

Rooftop solar power is different from large, utility-scale solar. The latter is much cheaper, but the former competes with retail electricity, not wholesale electricity. Indeed, rooftop solar PV over the lifetime of a system is also typically competitive — or more than competitive — with retail electricity prices. However, various forms of institutional inertia when it comes to constructing buildings, as well as initial developers not being on the hook for operational costs, mean that many buildings get constructed with no thought for rooftop solar. The German state of Baden-Württemberg is changing that in its jurisdiction. It is requiring that all new non-residential buildings have solar panels on them starting in 2022 — a little more than one year from now.”

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