This content is relevant for:Energy Transition / Coronavirus / Energy Efficiency
The question of how to tackle climate change was one of the most prominent topics before the crisis. Now many public voices are calling for the efforts to enhance economic recovery to be combined with climate protection and sustainability measures.
From a public perspective, approval for a green transformation remains high. In a recent poll, almost 80 percent of German citizens agreed that the switch to renewable energy should be accelerated in the aftermath of COVID-19.
The recent sales volume of solar heating systems supports this trend, showing significant growth in the first quarter of 2020 – also thanks to the improved funding schemes.
The green transformation certainly has support at the highest political level. At the recent Petersburg Climate Dialogue (PCD), Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of combining economic recovery with climate protection. Merkel announced that Germany will push to expand renewables and make investments to help manage structural changes caused by the coal phase-out.
The further expansion of renewables requires a significant transformation – in particular, the integration of renewables in the grid and the electrification of other sectors such as heating and transport. This transformation is a challenge, but also an opportunity for new business models, innovative technologies and international cooperation – from smart grid solutions, innovative charging infrastructure, electric vehicles, and demand-side response technologies. Green growth packages might foster growth in these areas - also creating opportunities for international businesses to enter the German market.
“It’s my guess that energy efficiency will form part of the economic stimulus package being discussed by the federal government,” says Germany Trade & Invest industry specialist Robert Compton. “Even before the pandemic we saw a strengthened policy focus with even bigger government incentives for energy efficient renovation and construction as well as efficiency in industry at the start of the year.
Germany’s construction sector has been running at maximum capacity for years now and the energy efficient renovation rate has been stubbornly low as a result. It’s realistic to expect that any slack the crisis creates in the sector could be taken up by greater support for building upgrades in particular,” Compton adds.
Germany’s BDI industry association has singled out digitization and energy efficiency measures in particular as industry investments for stimulating growth.You can find this fragment in the following contexts: