Landmark reaction to Covid19 crisis will increase stimulation for renewable energies, hydrogen and electric mobility.
The present German stimulus package of 130 billion euro with 57 different measures aims to combine two goals: supporting economic recovery as well as the transition towards a sustainable, digital and zero-carbon economy. On June 3, the German coalition partners of the federal government decided on a recovery programme that allocates more than 40 billion euros to areas like renewable energies, public transport, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. The government also reduces the VAT by three percent for remainder of the year 2020. Other measures include research into future technologies, energy-efficient housing, hydrogen economy, more sustainable agriculture, added support for families, air transport and forestry. In a significant turn from former policies, the government allocates eight billion Euros of additional subsidies for buyers of electric cars but not for the purchase of new fossil-fuel cars. Public transport and the German railway system (Deutsche Bahn) also will be supported.
Germany, which plans to close its last nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 and simultaneously follows a schedule to phase-out coal, must also make sure that energy-intensive industries in manufacturing will still be provided with energy at competitive prices in the future. The “EEG-Umlage”, a surcharge per kWh to finance feed-in tariffs to foster renewables, will be lowered for companies as well as private clients. The measure is financed by a carbon tax and subsidies of eleven billion Euros. Additionally, high-emitting industries such as refineries and steel production need to decarbonize and become more climate-friendly. The National Hydrogen strategy which was released on June, 10, seeks to scale-up carbon-neutral, especially „green“ hydrogen production and make it commercially viable in the future. In order to boost Hydrogen as carbon-neutral fuel alternative and storage solution, the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy BMWi strengthens its existing Energy Partnerships with countries around the world, among them Tunisia, and develops new partnerships. The German government also significantly raised the goals for offshore wind in the North and the Baltic Seat to 20 gigawatts in 2030 and 40 gigawatts in 2040. Weeks before the stimulus package, the federal government and the states had already sent positive signals for the Energiewende by the decision to lift of the 52 gigawatts solar cap and a new opt-out solution for a standard distance for onshore wind turbines.
From July 1, Germany will hold the EU Council presidency. In times of economic uncertainty and accelerated transition, Germany emphasizes the European Green Deal, which also aims to fill concepts like “green recovery” and “renovation wave” with life and link the economic recovery with climate protection and digitalization.