GERMANY: In Germany climate protection is big business. The business did in 2011 generate more revenue than what the traditionally strong pharmaceutical industry.
Germany is a highly industrialized country, but it has little in the way of natural mineral resources. The German Federal Government states that sixty-two percent of Germany’s energy demand has to be satisfied by imports and it has therefore recognized that it is vital for the future of the country to ensure secure energy supplies, not only for today but for the generations to come.
Furthermore, as Germany has taken up the challenge of climate change, it is encouraging innovations, employment and export.
The German energy and climate protection program was established in 1990 with an aim to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 36 percent of the 1990 levels by 2020. With the establishment of this program the industry began flourishing.
The expansion of energy research is an important component in the energy and climate policy of the German government. Two billion euros have been pledged for research in this field for the period up to 2009 – a 30 percent increase in funding. The priority areas include CO2 sequestration, the utilisation of renewables, further development of biofuels and alternative vehicle fuels including fuel cells. The CO2 building modernization program has been topped up to a total of 1.4 billion euros a year. These funds can be used to help improve the heat insulation of houses and flats.
Emissions trading was further developed in 2007, so that in future incentives to modernize power stations are even more attractive. At the same time, trade in emission reduction certificates has become simpler, more transparent and more calculable.
Within the climate protection industry, the domestic solar industry accounts for the greatest share. The second greatest share is that of the businesses focusing on higher energy efficiency, including the production and installation of heat insulation in buildings. The third greatest share is the share of the wind energy firms.
With a growing international focus on climate protection and environment, this trend is not likely to change in the near future.
Source: Deutsche Welle and the German Federal Government.