is this environmental dictatorship?
Solar panels will soon grace the roofs of the quiet medieval town of Marburg under a controversial new law forcing owners of all new or renovated buildings in its limits to include solar panels, setting a national precedent. Germany is already known for actively trying to be environmentally friendly, but wow… this new initiative whips the cherry off the cake.
A coalition of Social Democrats and Greens passed the ruling late on Friday (last week) to counter climate change and soaring energy prices. Anyone failing to comply will face a €1,000 (£790) fine. The law stipulates that, from October, a 1 sq metre panel must be built for every 20 sq metres of surface area. It applies to new homes or existing buildings undergoing renovations to heating systems or roofs.
Marburg, which is home to 80,000 people, has gone a step further by including the owners of older houses in the new legislation. Installing the panels could cost homeowners up to €5,000, a figure largely offset by energy savings over 15 years, the town’s Green mayor, Franz Kahle, said.
Is this town becoming a pioneer for renewable energy in Germany? Could this trend be followed throughout Europe? And should it?