Environmental Sector in Germany Grows 5.7%
Turnover in Germany’s environmental protection sector rose from 70 to 73.9 billion euros from 2016 to 2017 according to the country’s Federal Office of Statistics. That continues an impressive track record of growth. 66 billion euros were generated by environmental goods, construction and services in 2015.
The most important economic sub-sector was the area of climate protection (49.4 billion euros), including renewable energy usage (24.4 billion) and improvements in energy efficiency and energy savings (23.6 billion). 55.8 billion euros of business came in manufacturing.
Driving the growth is a long-term and comprehensive change in Germany’s energy and environmental policies.
For example, the Federal Office of Statistics reports that 66.6 percent of all newly constructed residential buildings in 2018 use renewables as a source of heat. 47.2 percent of the 107,200 new residential buildings primarily got their heat from renewables – more than any other energy source. That was the first time ever that this has been the case.
On June 6, German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier presented a progress report showing that Germany was ahead of schedule in its transition to renewable energy sources, the Energiewende, in the electricity sector.
“This is not just a challenge – it’s a major chance for Germany as an economic location,” Altmaier said. “The Energiewende is not just an energy-policy project. It is one of the largest modernization projects for the German economy.”
Germany has an established reputation as a top location for green energy and environmental technologies – both their development and their use. The country’s first-class R&D capabilities and generous government funding programs have attracted many of the firms that are shaping the future of energy and environmental technologies around the world.
“We are currently seeing fresh impetus in environmental technologies, renewable energy and energy efficiency in Germany,” says Esther Frey, director of energy, building and environmental technologies at Germany Trade & Invest. “That means opportunities for international companies that offer innovative products and services, for example, in energy efficiency and the integration of renewables into the grid.”
Industrial smoke chimneys © Stockphoto/Simon Smith