Investment in renewables up nationwide in 2017

Almost €16 billion was invested in new renewables installations in Germany last year. This means Germany continues to invest more in renewables, defying the international trend.

Renewables driving economic growth. In 2017 alone, €15.7 billion was invested in renewables installations in Germany.© BMWi; data from: Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW)

2017 was the second consecutive year which saw Germany’s investment in renewables installations rise, in this case from €15.4 billion to €15.7 billion. This means that Germany continues to defy the global trend towards fewer investments (for more details, please refer to the September edition of this newsletter here ).

Renewables have become a driver of economic growth

Recent figures demonstrate that the energy transition has become a driver of economic growth in Germany. This is particularly so if you factor in not only the investments in new installations, but also the maintenance and operating work for existing ones, which add another €16.2 billion to the overall figure. And it is especially in this field that a large number of local companies have created a substantial number of jobs.

Wind energy: strong. PV: weak, but stable

Investment in wind energy was particularly strong last year. Tallying €10.7 billion, these investments accounted for almost 68% of all investments in the renewables sector. In fact, wind energy has been able to further increase its dominance ever so slightly compared to the preceding year (almost 67%).

In terms of the overall development since 2010, however, investments fell from €28 billion in 2010 to just under €14 billion in 2015. The main culprit here is PV. The number of new installations being added has fallen considerably, with prices for individual modules also falling drastically. Considering this, it is all the more impressive to see that overall investment in renewables has been continuously rising again since 2015. Germany, which has a large stake in the value chain for planning, constructing and assembling installations, benefits a great deal from this investment.

Other renewables (electricity and heat from biomass, hydropower, solar, geothermal and ambient heat) accounted for a combined investment of €3.4 billion in 2017 (just over 21% of overall investments). Investment in solar thermal installations, hydropower and heat from biomass fell year-on-year, whereas investment in geothermal energy (including ambient heat) and electricity from biomass grew.