Hermann Scheer

Hermann Scheer

Hermann Scheer (2008)
Member of Parliament
for Social Democrat member of the German Bundestag (parliament)
Personal details
Born (1944-04-29)29 April 1944
Wehrheim, Germany
Died 14 October 2010(2010-10-14) (aged 66)
Berlin, Germany
Nationality German
Political party Social Democrat
Occupation Social Democrat member of the German Bundestag (parliament)
President of Eurosolar (European Association for Renewable Energy)

Hermann Scheer (29 April 1944 – 14 October 2010) was a Social Democrat member of the German Bundestag (parliament), President of Eurosolar (European Association for Renewable Energy) and General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy.[1] In 1999, Scheer was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for his "indefatigable work for the promotion of solar energy worldwide".[2]

Scheer believed that the continuation of current patterns of energy supply and use would be environmentally, socially, economically, and politically damaging, with renewable energy being the only realistic alternative. Scheer had concluded that it is technically and environmentally feasible to harness enough solar radiation to achieve a total replacement of the foclear (fossil/nuclear) energy system by a global renewable energy economy. The main obstacle to such a change is seen to be political, not technical or economic.[2] In 1999 he was one of the initiators of the German feed-in tariffs that were the major source of the rise of renewable energies in Germany during the following years.


Scheer was born in Wehrheim, and became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1965 during his military service as an officer in the Bundeswehr. He majored in economics and law and was active in student politics at the University of Heidelberg. 1979 he graduated from the Free University of Berlin as a doctor of political science. He worked as postgrade scientist at Universität Stuttgart and as a scientist (1976 till 1980) at Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (a large nuclear and basic research center). Scheer was member of the German Modern pentathlon national team in his youth. He became a member of the Bundestag in 1980, representing Baden-Württemberg; in 1993, he also became a member of the federal steering committee (Bundesvorstand) of the Social Democratic Party. Scheer had a solid track record as an anti-establishment figure within his own party. He however never gained a direct majority based mandate in any political election and never held any executive post in government.

In the preelection shadow cabinet of Andrea Ypsilanti, candidate for prime minister of Hesse in 2008, Scheer was pegged unsuccessfully as minister for development, environment and economics. The final list long after the election mentioned him as secretary of a downsized ministry of economics[3] Scheer announced ambitious energy policy plans, which failed to gain applause with his own party and possible coalition partners.[3] Leading SPD figures as Jürgen Walter and Wolfgang Clement, a former Ministerpräsident which later left the party were rather critical.[4] Scheer however believed Ypsilantis strategies would result in a big triumph of his party at the federal elections 2009. However Ypsilantis post election 'read my lips' attempt to partner with ex-communist Linkspartei and the Greens led to a complete failure.[5]

His book Energy Autonomy was instrumental in the making of the film Die 4. Revolution – Energy Autonomy. Scheer supported municipal ownership of utility companies.[6]

He suddenly died in a hospital in Berlin from heart failure[7] after an unspecified short and severe illness.[8] His wife (since 1970), Irm Pontenagel, managed solar lobby association Eurosolar for decades. His daughter Nina Scheer managed an eco management consulting company and is herself member of the Bundestag.[9] After his sudden death, SPD politician Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter took his mandate via the German list system.


See also


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