Solar Crusader

Hermann Scheer

Members of the German parliament don't usually create much of a stir outside Europe. But Hermann Scheer electrified a Washington audience last month with his gale-force enthusiasm. Nuclear fission and fossil-fuel burning amount to "global pyromania," he told a conference of environmental activists. "Renewable energy is the fire extinguisher." By mid-century, he asserted confidently, wind, solar and other renewables can snuff out all conventional energy sources.

A radical vision? Perhaps. But Scheer is no blowhard. In the past decade, this earnest economist has, more than any single political leader, transformed Europe's energy landscape. Founder in 1988 of EUROSOLAR, the Continent's premier...

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