How can one convince politicians and business experts from the energy sector that the phase out of nuclear power and the development of renewable energies makes healthy sense both environmentally and economically? Through conviction, knowledge, and tireless persistence. The parliamentary member and scientific development speaker of the Bündis90/ Green party, Hans-Josef Fell, is a man with exactly these qualities – a Green for all seasons.
Hans-Josef Fell has long worked to educate the public about the dangers of all things nuclear, as well as championed the cause of renewable energies. The manner in which he and his family live sets a brilliant example of how we can responsibly go about with our natural resources: the energy balance of his solar-powered household can boast a surplus of more than 1600 kWh per year, energy that is fed into the public grid, thereby reducing for his neighbours the need for energy derived from fossil fuels and nuclear power. He tells us: “Not the reduction or capping of emissions à la Kyoto will help the world, but the curtailment of emissions, period.”
“Not the reduction or capping of emissions à la Kyoto will help the world, but the curtailment of emissions, period.”
Hans-Josef Fell spearheaded the framing of the German Renewable Energy Sources Law – a piece of legislation that has revolutionarily altered Germany’s energy picture. The law, ratified on 25 February 2000, guarantees cost-covering feed-in tariffs for electricity won from biomass, wind, and solar fuels, and aims to at least double the percentage of renewable energies by the year 2010. Not only does this law help protect the environment and secure native energy supplies, but, especially in the sector of small and medium-sized businesses, has proven to be a powerful job engine.
Hans-Josef Fell has travelled to Turkey, France, Taiwan, Japan, Poland, Croatia and Slovakia to propagate his vision of clean energy. Following his visit to Turkey, plans for a nuclear power plant at Akkuyu were aborted, and Minister President Bülent Ecevit declared that his government would seek to foster renewable energies. In Taiwan, following Fell’s numerous television appearances and talks with individual policy makers, the government announced the withdrawal of its plans to build the country’s fourth nuclear power plant, and its intent to phase out nuclear power by 2020. The French government has also shown great interest in drafting a renewable energies law similar to the one in Germany, not least of all because it fears losing stride with its European neighbour as regards renewable energy technologies.
During this legislative period, Hans-Josef Fell has co-authored programs to heighten renewable energy incentives, and to convert tractor motors from diesel to plant oil combustion. Presently Fell is working at the European Union level to make sure that monies ear-marked for nuclear research are drastically curtailed and redirected instead to renewable energy research.
– Craig Reishus