A Tribute to Dr. Hermann Scheer (1944 – 2010)

The renewable energy sector, and the solar photovoltaics industry in particular, lost a great leader on Thursday, October 14. Hermann Scheer, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, and mentor and champion of the solar photovoltaics industry, died unexpectedly in Berlin at the age of 66.

Dr. Scheer, who served as a Member of the German Bundestag since 1980, spent the last few decades as a tireless advocate for renewable energy and received numerous international awards for his efforts. Dr. Scheer was awarded the World Solar Prize in 1998 and in 1999 received the Alternative Nobel Prize (Right Livelihood Award). Time magazine also honored him as a "Hero for the Green Century."

As one of the fathers of the German Renewable Energies Act (EEG), Dr. Scheer was a mastermind and an architect of the solar age. Moreover he was a passionate fighter for the clean energy revolution. Earlier than most he realized that a continuation of current energy consumption and practices would spell disaster for the planet. Dr. Scheer combined the thoughtfulness of an intellectual with the practicalities and positive outlook of a politician, which he used successfully to win over supporters to the renewables cause.

Dr. Scheer authored several books, including The Solar Economy (2004), A Solar Manifesto (2005) and Energy Autonomy (2006). As is the case with so many visionaries, his ideas appeared initially absurd to some people. Today, they are viewed as groundbreaking. The clean energy revolution has lost one of its founding fathers and he will be missed. Applied Materials salutes Dr. Scheer’s lifetime of accomplishment and grieves over his passing.


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