Climate protection means good business for German
firms and data issued on Wednesday showed that it was worth a massive €45.5bn in
Destatis, the federal statistics, reported that
sales in the climate protection business exceeded for example the pharmaceutical
industry, whose establishments made €39.2bn in 2011. The statistics office also
reported that turnover in climate protection products accounted for 68% or
the largest share of total turnover in products for environmental protection
- - €66.9bn.
A survey of 9,000 German firms found that the
domestic solar industry accounted for the lion's share in revenues, not least
due to generous state subsidies while businesses focusing on higher energy
efficiency, including the production and installation of heat insulation in
buildings, came in second, followed by wind energy firms.
The Association of German Chambers of Industry
and Commerce (DIHK) said the climate protection economy was of key importance
for future growth in a nation relying so much on high-tech exports.
DIHK's Energy Change Barometer 2013 shows that at
84% of the 2,400 businesses surveyed, most energy user firms see more risks than
opportunities. This can be justified by the continually rising prices on the
energy and ever-present worry about the security of supply for Germany as an
industrial location, as nuclear energy is phased out as a source.
The DIHK survey also shows that 25% of the
industrial companies are now active in some way in moving their operations to
foreign countries. Three% have already done so, 8% are currently in the process
of doing so, and 14% are planning to do so.
Last month, Bloomberg
reported that Germany's four electricity grid companies set the fee paid
through power bills at 6.24 euro cents a kilowatt-hour next year from 5.28 euro
cents now, according to a statement on the website of TransnetBW. The charge has
more than quintupled since 2009, helping to make German household power bills
the third-highest in the European Union. Big industrial users are largely exempt
from the fee.
Nuclear power supplied about a quarter of
Germany’s power before an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the
Fukushima plant in Japan in 2011. The disaster turned the German public and
politicians against atomic energy. The government is now seeking to get 80% of
its electricity from renewables by 2050 from about 23% now.
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