Friday, 13 March 2009

Department of Good Ideas

Want to stimulate the economy by spending government money? Also concerned that the automobile industry is moribund, and trying to ward off bankrupcy for some of the country's major employers? Meanwhile, are you hoping to find ways of encouraging people to invest in more environmentally friendly items, including cars?

Why not Cash for Clunkers? I like it. Turns out this policy has increased new car sales in Germany by 21% (!) this year - with the simple mechanism of giving people government cash for trading in their old, inefficient cars with newer more energy-efficient models.

Let's hope the UK and the US will latch onto this clever plan.

1 comment:

Julian said...

The Germans have implemented several good ideas to bring about more evironmentally-friendly activity by their population. I am told that they have a policy that not only forces electricity companies to not only buy the surplus electricity produced by those with solar panels, but also require the purchase to be well above market rate for the first several years to help the customer pay for the expense of installing the solar panels. The energy companies don't lose out as much as you'd think because of the long-term contribution to a more energy-efficient grid, tendency of solar panels to dump electricity onto the grid when people are awake and working, and resulting reduction of their costs over the long term.