Founder Diane Moss Speaks at German Marshall Fund/Heinrich Boell Foundation Event, Washington, DC

On October 17, 2011 in Washington DC, the German Marshall Fund and Heinrich Boell Foundation hosted the event, “Renewable Energy Communities: How Rural Development Policy Can Support a Low-Carbon Transition.” Diane Moss was brought in as a panelist to discuss 100% renewable energy cities and opportunities for German/US cooperation on advancing this concept in the US.

She focused on examples of US cities that are moving toward 100% renewable energy goals, such as Greensburg, KS, Marin County, CA, and San Francisco. “I am happy to say, that while there are many impressive examples in Germany and the rest of the EU, we do have success stories here.” she said.  “There are parallels here to Germany, where it also started on the local level. With the right frameworks, like solid, German-style feed-in tariffs and other incentives for renewables, states and regions here could advance quickly.” This was punctuated by a point made by other participants that the will of the American people demonstrated in recent polling is to move toward renewables and to address climate change.

She added that Germany has created nearly 400,000 jobs with their renewable energy policies and is leading the world on the strategic technologies of the 21st century. “While the federal US government is mired in stagnating politics, states and cities present the best opportunity to propel the US into the renewable energy economy. Greensville, KS is a rural town in the Republican heartland of the country, and according to the DOE, they already have a wind farm that is powering the whole town, which they aim to supplement with solar panels, zero net energy building, and other sustainable developments to achieve 100% renewable energy. Marin County, by contrast, is a well-heeled, politically progressive, semi-rural area inCalifornia, and they managed to win a hard fight to take control of the grid from the local investor owned utility–and are now up to 75% renewable electricity with a goal to get to 100%. These are good examples that demonstrate progress does not have to be and should not be a partisan political matter.”