The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

The money the government uses to pay producers comes from a monthly surcharge on utility bills that everyone pays, similar to a rebate. Ratepayers pay an additional cost for the renewable energy fund and then get that money back from the government, at a profit, if they are producing their own energy. In the end, ratepayers control the program, not the government. This adds consistency, Davidson says. If the government itself paid, it would be easy for a new finance minister to cut the program upon taking office. Funding is not at the whim of politicians as it is in the U.S. ‘Everyone has skin in the game,’ says writer Osha Gray Davidson. ‘The movement is decentralized and democratized, and that’s why it works. Anybody in Germany can be a utility.’ How Germany Is Getting to 100 Percent Renewable Energy