"We're talking about the most important and exciting structural change of civilization since the beginning of the industrial age," he says, with another chuckle. "The benefits and ramifications are huge. Not only do renewables mitigate climate change, they also give us cleaner cities, improved health, revitalize the agricultural economy so that the farmers of today will become the oil sheikhs of tomorrow, and fight underdevelopment and deprivation in the developing world."
One of the most exciting aspects, he says, is the boost given to the freedom of individuals as they become less dependent on conventional power and its providers. "You give people energy independence and you get social commitment - you only get that with renewable," he argues.
Even national security issues could be overcome, and wars over energy become obsolete. "Look at all the political support there is for oil and gas," he says. "For a start, you could get rid of the British costs for military commitment in Iraq which belongs to the oil bill. Think of the savings!"At some point, Scheer believes his ideas will become commonplace. He lets the 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer make the point for him. "There are three stages to a new idea," Scheer says. "At first, it is ignored. Second, there is strong opposition against it. And finally, those who once opposed it set about introducing the initiatives themselves as if they'd been theirs all along."