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Renewable Energy & Other Topics

September 24, 2013
Paul Gipe

Comments of Paul Gipe to the 100 Percent Champions League, Kassel Germany

I am here today because this past spring we held a small conference in San Francisco. At the conference, Pathways To 100% Renewable Energy,  we heard from Europeans, such as Bertram Fleck from the Rhein-Hunsrück kreis near Koblenz about what they were doing and why. We heard from a small village in Mexico. We heard from Canada.

And--the most surprising to me--we heard from conservative politicians from my own country, mayors of small cities who had decided it was time to move toward 100% renewable energy. Yes, Republican mayors of small towns in the United States. This was an electrifying moment of the conference.

Those of us laboring in the vineyards of renewable energy in North America have not seen such enthusiasm in nearly three decades that, yes, we can do it too.

--As an aside, one of the photographs used to promote this conference was a picture I took with Dr. Martin Hoppe-Kilpper at the dedication of a community-owned wind farm near hear some 15 years ago.--

Because our conference was patterned after your conference here in Kassel, I wanted to come here and give a message from North America.

My message to you today is as short as it is simple.

Thank you for who you are. Merci beaucoup for what you have accomplished. Mange tak to you, and to your communities. Vielen dank to the regions of which you are a part. Dank u wel for all the work you have done.

And mille grazie for the inspiration you have provided us in North America at a time when renewable energy is under unprecedented attack by the fossil and nuclear industries in Canada and the United States.

Those promoting the technologies of the past have seen what you have accomplished and it has scared them to the core. They have said--publicly,--“It will never happen here. We will make sure of that!”

The good news is that these attacks have failed, and continue to fail, across the North American continent. Why?

They have failed for much the same reason as they were launched.

The people—and ultimately their politicians—have also seen what you have accomplished.

You have shown both Canadians and Americans that the campaign of the anti-renewables lobby is simply propaganda built upon a network of lies.

You have shown through demonstrable facts--“on the ground” as we say—that renewable energy can grow at the pace needed to address climate change, that renewable energy works reliably and cost-effectively, and that it puts people to work.

What you have done was thought “unimaginable” just a few years ago.

You have shown that not only is it possible, but that it can be more quickly, more easily, and at less cost, than any of us once thought.

And in doing so, you have embarrassed us. In a land accustomed to “being first”, a land accustomed to great accomplishments, a land once known for its “can-do” attitude, you have shown us that we can learn important lessons from “old” Europe.

We have learned, for example, that our renewable energy targets are much too timid.

We have learned—from Europe—that targets of 10%, 20%, and even California’s 33% are nowhere near ambitious enough.

We have seen what you have achieved when you set your sights high.

And in what has become a budding world-wide movement toward 100% renewable energy, we sense in North America an awakening of our pioneering spirit and a resurgence of our “can-do” attitude.

So, again, thank you.

Obrigado for giving us hope that the future we dream of is becoming a reality today.

And efxaristo from Canadians and Americans to you here in Europe for inspiring us to join the renewable energy revolution you have shown to be possible.


100 Percent Renewable Vision Building by Paul Gipe, 2 April 2013.

Why 100% Renewable Energy? By Paul Gipe, 17 July 2013.

Renewables 100 Policy Institute

Go 100% Renewable Energy

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