1 by Dr. Reinhard Loske Former State Minister for Environment and European Affairs, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen ( ) Former Member of Parliament in the German Bundestag (Federal Parliament) and Deputy Chairman of the Green Group ( ) Senior Researcher at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy and Director of the Research Group Sustainable Germany ( )
2 Defini&on I by UNEP What is a "Green Economy"? UNEP has developed a working definition of a green economy as one that results in improved human well- being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. Practically speaking, a green economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes. This development path should maintain, enhance and, where necessary, rebuild natural capital as a critical economic asset and source of public benefits, especially for poor people whose livelihoods and security depend strongly on nature.
3 Defini&on II by OECD "Ministers welcomed the Green Growth Strategy and provided guidance on future work. They agreed that green growth tools and indicators can help expand economic growth and job creation through sustainable use of natural resources, efficiencies in the use of energy, and valuation of ecosystem services. Ministers noted that innovation, supported by a strong intellectual property rights system, is a key to countries abilities to achieve economic growth, create green jobs, and protect the environment. OECD Ministerial Council Meeting 2011, Chair's Summary
4 Defini&ons III, Rio+20 Final Document We emphasize that a Green Economy should contribute to eradicating poverty as well as sustained economic growth, enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare and creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the Earth s ecosystems.
5 Green Economy: The New Panacea? Posi&ve Views (1) Taking Sustainable Development seriously logically means: Greening the Economy! (2) If Environmental and Resource Protection and Economic Interests start to ally (instead of seeing each other as Enemies) it is mutually beneficial ( Win- win ) (3) Green Economic Strategies (Increasing Energy and Resource Efficiency, Renewables, Emissions and Waste Avoidance, Clean Air & Clean Water, Soil Protection, Conservation) have a lot of positive secondary effects: from increasing productivity and competitiveness to job creation and cost savings. (4) For the time being Green Economy for Developing Countries means Green Growth!
6 Green Economy: The New Panacea? Cri&cal Views I From Developing Countries: Now, since Industrialised Countries have left the dirty phase of development behind them and go green, they tell us, how bad the dirty phase of development (mining, carbon- based development, heavy industries etc.) is and that we should deliver highest environmental standards in the global marketplace. That s not fair! And by the way: It s protectionism through the back door!
7 Green Economy: The New Panacea? Cri&cal Views II From Commoners : Green Economy means nothing else than a new wave of privatizing and comercializing the Commons: The natural Commons and the man- made Commons belong to people and not to the markets. So let us together stand up against thè fake of market- driven ecological modernisation and let us protect the Common Good!
8 Green Economy: The New Panacea? Cri&cal Views III From Growth Skeptics : Real Sustainable Development and Economic Growth don t go together, be it brown or green. The Reason is simple: Economic Growth beyond a certain level erodes the basis of nature and society. All efficiency gains by better technology are sooner or later eaten up by quanitative growth. This Rebound Effect clearly shows that green growth is an illusion. What we need is not just better technology, but lifestyle change, cultural change, a feeling for sufficiency and enoughness.
9 Why Renewable Energies? Seven Good Reasons for Germany and Others
10 Energy Security and the Reduc=on of Energy Dependance Germany imports 100% of its oil consumption, 80% of its gas consumption, 100% of its uranium consumption and most of its (hard) coal consumption. So much dependance on energy imports (often from instable regions) and potential external price shocks makes the country vulnerable. There are only three real national energy resources : Lignite (which is extremely carbon intensive and environmentally destructive), Renewables (wind, hydro, solar, biomass, geothermal) and energy efficiency (energy conservation on the supply and the demand side by better technologies, better organisation, and more intelligent lifestyles). More energy autonomy makes countries more resilient. And Renewables may be called «Peace Energy» since they can avoid resource conflicts in the future.
12 Climate Protec=on Global climate change is one of the most pressing problems mankind is confronted with. Germany has commited itself to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the main driver of man- made climate change, drastically : by minus 40% until 2020 and by at least minus 80% until 2050 (compared to 1990 levels). The German Government believes that Renewables and Energy Efficiency are the main instruments to push German, European and Global Climate Protection Policies.
14 Structural Change and Economic Modernisa=on Structural change is a permanent process in modern economies. The reduction of energy intensity and the stepwise substitution of non- renewable resources (e.g. coal, oil, gas, nuclear) by renewable resources (wind, hydro, solar, biomass, geothermal and in particular human intelligence) is a key element of technological progress in our days. Even if one does not believe that peak oil or peak gas have already been reached or passed, one thing is for sure : the post- fossil age (others call it the «second solar civilisation») will come and those who are prepared will be in a better position.
15 Cost Savings and Job Crea=on Economically speaking the substitution of (cost- intensive) energy imports by increasing energy efficiency and using more renewables often means cost reductions and definitely the creation of highly qualified jobs at home. In Germany the number of people working in the renewables sector is now up to almost and will increase further. Energy efficiency measures from home insulation to developing energy saving appliances create even more jobs over the broader economy.
17 Compe==veness and «Leapfrogging» The renewables market will be a growing market for decades. Thus, for developed and developing countries it is a must to be part of this market and its developments : from technology to all kinds of services, project development, financing, maintenance, land development etc. Those who develop «integrated solutions» will be in a frontrunner position. The global competition leads to a high degree of innovation, economies of scale lead to cost reductions, and political support leads to a fast spread of the technology. For developing countries renewables are a unique chance to go for «leapfrogging», that means : using the best and most sustainable technology from the very beginning on and avoiding cost- and energy- intensive «dead ends».
18 Genera=ng Regional Value- Added Since the «character» of most renewable energies is a decentralised one, the value-added of them also has a decentralised form, that means : Local people, local communities and local economies profit most when renewable energies are developed and used be it farmers, craftsmen, home owners, municipalities, small-scale utilities etc. This is a very important precondition for acceptance by the public. The think big -projects like dams, offshore windparks or huge solar farms are different in character (centralised, capital-intensive, often dominated by big companies) and sometimes highly disputed.
19 Poten=al for poli=cal consensus The energy debate in Germany has always been extremely controversial. This was mainly due to diverging opinions on the use of nuclear energy. After the Fukushima nuclear accident a new energy consensus arose: Germany has now united behind the idea of greening the energy sector by energy eficiency, enegy conservation and renewable energies. If the whole political class, the vast majority oft he population and even the industry mainstream is supporting the concept, it makes it much easier to be successfull in this joint effort.
20 How to boost renewable energies? Direct Subsidies Tax Exemptions Regulation (e.g.: Obligatory share of renewable energies, Prohibition of new coal fired power plants) Quota and Bidding Systems Fossil Fuel Taxation and/or Emissions Trading Systems to improve competitiveness of renewable energies and change relative prices. Feed- in- Systems
21 The German Way The German Way to push renewable energies in the electricity, the heating and the traffic sector is a diversified one. The key instrument in the elecricity sector is the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which guarantees attractive prices to everybody, who generates electricity from Wind, Hydro, Solar, Biomass and Geothermal sources. This law is a real success story and has been exported to more than 50 countries all over the world. Compared to Quota and Bidding Systems the results of feed- in- laws are no doubt more successful.
22 The main principles of the EEG Guaranteed feed- in tariffs and financing connection requirements. The network operators must feed in this electricity into the grid preferentially to the electricity generated by conventional sources (nuclear power, coal and gas). Renewable energy plant operators receive a 20 year, technology specific, guaranteed payment for their produced electricity. The promotion of renewable electricity is not financed by the taxpayer, but by the electricity consumer. So the EEG is not a subsidy mechanism but a compensation mechanism for positive external effects of renewable energies (clean air, carbon dioxide abatement) Innovation by falling feed- in- tariffs. Periodically lowering rates of remuneration for new plants (degression of 1% per year) exerts cost pressure on manufacturers. Thus, technologies are becoming more efficient and less costly.
23 Some Facts and Figures on the Development of Renewable Energies in Germany
24 Current facts and figures I National: The German renewable energy industry is one of the most important growth industries in Germany. It employs around people (2011) it covers 20 percent of German electricity consumption, 10 percent of heat consumption and 6 percent of fuel consumption renewable energy's contribution to total energy consumption in Germany was around 12 percent in 2011 In 2011 it saved around 129 Mio. tons of CO 2
25 Current facts and figures II International: The German renewable energy sector continues to be a leader by international comparison too. In 2008, plants and technology with a volume of approximately 12 billion euro were exported The world market share of the wind energy industry is a good 25 percent Germany is the top of the league worldwide for installed capacity of photovoltaic systems and holds second place in wind energy
26 Current facts and figures III Prospects: As the prices for conventional fuels are exploding and the price for renewable energy is steadily falling the industry's growth will continue. Between 2005 and 2020, the industry aims to invest a total of 200 billion euro in plants for utilisation of renewable energy By 2020 the industry will employ 500,000 people in total Source:
28 Summary We can not afford to do without renewable energies, because they save the climate improve energy security create jobs increase competitiveness generate local and regional value- added offer potential for political consensus send no bill when the investment is realised and the infrastructure is established
Success story: Feed-In Tariffs Support renewable energy in Germany This document will show how this success story has been brought about and is made up of the following sections: 1. What is a Feed-In Tariff?
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