23. Strengthening global growth

Reason_23_AEE_Stromgestehungskosten_2030_mai2014If the energy transition were to be limited to Germany, its effects on climate protection and energy security on a global scale would be negligible. But the fact is: Renewables are on the rise globally. China and the United States are now at the forefront when it comes to investments in renewable energies. In December 2013, the contract for the world’s largest wind farm was awarded in Iowa, for instance. But small scale power plants are equally appealing, especially in areas not connected to an electricity grid. Investment in renewable energy has become more and more attractive in emerging and developing countries as well.

One of the reasons for the remarkable upswing of renewable energies is a good general framework, such as the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) in Germany. This is accompanied by efficiency improvements in renewable energy technologies. In Germany, new producers of solar power could install 622 watts of photovoltaic power per 1,000 Euro of investment in late 2014. This is more than three times as much than in 2006.

Such developments have facilitated an accelerated growth of renewable energies in other countries. At the same time it should not be forgotten that huge funds of public and private money are still being spent on fossil fuels. Such investments in fossil fuels need to be redirected towards the renewable energy sector, for the future energy demand can only be sustainably met with renewables.

According to an estimate by the International Energy Agency (IEA), subsidies for fossil fuels amounted to some $ 550 billion in 2013 - more than four times those to renewables.