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Under the leadership of Chancellor Merkel, the German government has also announced plans to formulate an energy strategy for further reducing dependency on energy imports, preventing energy price increases, and tackling the country's energy-related environmental challenges through the year 2020. Germany's minister of education and research, Annette Schavan, announced that by 2009 a 2-billion-euro funding increase would be implemented to support research and development in the energy sector. Horst Koehler, president of Germany since July 2004, promoted Germany's Renewable Energy Sources Act. It was Horst's administration that set the goal of having 12.5 percent of Germany's electricity generated by renewable energy sources by 2010 and 20 percent by 2020.

In addition, the former chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, who held office from October 1998 to November 2005, spearheaded a partnership with the United States to cooperate on issues related to energy supply, energy efficiency, and renewable energies. In August 2005 Schroeder and the U.S. president, George W. Bush, met in Berlin for the Working Group on Energy, Development, and Climate Change, a U.S.-German effort that has continued under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany and the United States also announced a partnership to capture wasted methane from oil and natural gas systems, coal mines, and landfills and use it as an energy source.

Aside from partnerships between the United States and Germany, Germany's energy policy, with its emphasis on renewable energy, has the potential to influence U.S. energy policy in significant ways. Many in the United States hope that Germany's progress with using renewable energies to combat foreign energy dependence, environmental degradation, and shortages in domestic energy supply will become an example to the United States of the real viability of renewable energies as a long-term solution to fossil fuels.

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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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