Hermann Scheer, the man who crafted the legislation that turned Germany into a solar and wind powerhouse, died last week. His innovation wasn't technical, but it may prove more important than any individual breakthrough technology. Scheer got a series of feed-in tariffs through the Bundestag. The tariffs subsidize renewable energy production directly, a system that has arguably worked a lot better than the American tax incentives schemes that our legislators have favored.

His most recent book is "Energy Autonomy: The economic, social, and technological case for renewable energy."

Hermann Scheer, the German parliamentarian and author who played an instrumental role in getting the solar industry and renewable energy in general moving, has died at the age of 66. Scheer, along with fellow Bundestag member Hans Josef Fell, crafted Germany's feed-in policy in the early 90s.

As a result, approximately 60 percent of the world's wind farms and 70 percent of its solar panels are located in the country. Other countries saw how renewable energy allowed Germany to add to its grid and its employment rolls and slowly, but with increasing speed, began to follow suit.

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