Significant rise in investments in renewables
Last year, investments in renewables installations tallied €16.2 billion in Germany, which is approx. 7% more than in the preceding year. This expansion in the use of renewables helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in the power sector.
Last year, renewables further increased their standing as an important sector for the German economy. This is one of the findings of the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, which recently published its latest calculations. According to these, investments in renewables installations increased to €16.2 billion last year, which is €1.1 billion or 7% more than in the preceding year (€15.1 billion).
Wind power accounts for more than two thirds of the investments
Wind power accounted for the lion’s share of the investments, as has been continuously the case since 2013. Onshore wind accounted for 48% of total investments, offshore wind for a further 20%. Photovoltaics was able to increase its share of the investment to almost 11%, followed by geothermal energy and ambient heat, which, together, accounted for approx. 8% of all investments in renewables. The figures include investments by utilities as well as industry, trade, commerce and private households.
179 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions avoided
Renewable energies make an important contribution to the efforts to preserve our environment. The Federal Environment Agency has calculated that the extent to which coal, lignite, oil and gas were replaced by renewables in 2017 alone has made it possible for the equivalent of 179 million tonnes of carbon emissions to be avoided. Renewables in the power sector accounted for the largest reduction in CO2 equivalent (138 million tonnes). Heating (34 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent) and transport (7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent) are also sectors that have seen a significant avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions.
‘CO2 equivalent’ is a measure indicating how much CO2 would have the same warming effect on the climate over 100 years as the greenhouse gases emitted – in this case CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. Indicating the CO2 equivalent helps compare the amount of emissions avoided.
All figures stated in this article are provisional (as of February 2018).