New Energy Infrastructure: Germans Lead

It makes sense that Germany, which has one of the most aggressive pro-renewable energy policy programs in the world, would also be the first market in which the traditional energy infrastructure would have to adapt and show the way to a different future.  The large German utilities, faced with declining demand for power and an increasing share of power provided by solar and wind facilities they do not own — in other words, a threat to their exiting business model — have adjusted to the reality and positioned themselves to be part of the emerging energy infrastructure.  Instead of fighting the changes, as no few US electric utilities have chosen to do, the three largest German electric utilities have gotten into the business of offering to finance and maintain solar systems on their customers roofs.  As this report makes clear, the shift potentially positions these German electric companies to benefit and profit from the changes underway, even as customers benefit from fixed electricity bills.  In other words, win-win and win for the climate, as well.

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