sábado, abril 14
Freiberg: Power From the Sun (Newsweek, Abril 16/23 2007)
Long before anybody noticed that the Alpine snows were melting earlier and freakish weather events became fodder for the science pages of European newspapers, the German city of Freiburg put in bicycle paths, made 42 percent of land surrounding the city off-limits to development and imposed energy standards on new construction. Its latest move: encouraging residents to be energy-independent by giving tax breaks to renewable-energy companies and subsidizing the use of solar panels in new construction. This city of 200,000 now has 11,223 square meters of solar cells covering its rooftops, a fortyfold increase since 1996. The new Vauban district of 2,000 eco-homes, completed in 2006, includes 50 solar houses, each producing more energy than it consumes. In environmentalist circles, Freiburg is known as Europe's solar capital, an achievement Mayor Dieter Salomon attributes "above all to the commitment of the people."
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