Investment in renewable energy remains high

In 2016, more than €14 billion was invested in the expansion of renewables. This is good for the energy transition – and for our economy, which benefits from the investments.

Infographic shows how the more than €14 billion was invested in the expansion of renewables.© Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; data from the working group on renewable energy statistics

Renewable energy is a major economic sector for Germany. In 2016, some €14.2 billion was invested in building new renewables installations, down just slightly from the previous year (€14.6 billion). This is despite the fact that far fewer offshore wind-power installations were built than in 2015.

Wind ahead of sun and biomass

Just under two thirds of all investment was in onshore wind energy. Photovoltaics was also further expanded (11 per cent of all investment), as was biomass for heat generation (9.7%). The smallest share of investments was in hydropower (0.2 per cent), as most of the existing potential in this energy source has already been exhausted.

Investment rate stable, economic output stronger

Whilst the level of investment remained virtually unchanged compared to the previous year, the overall economic output of all renewables installations in Germany continued to grow. This rose from €14.7 billion in 2015 to €15.4 billion in 2016 – a rise of just under 5 per cent.

Setting the right course

The expansion of renewable energy, which is controlled and foreseeable, continues to be one of the key pillars of the energy transition. That is why the Federal Government has stipulated expansion targets for each technology, set out in the Renewable Energy Sources Act. These targets set the course for reliable investment in the expansion of renewables.