Study: Decentralized development of renewable energies creates billions in value output

The institute stated that decentralized development of renewable energies – sun, wind, biomass and “other energies” – generated a value output of approximately €6.8 billion in German cities and municipalities in 2009. Of this, PV generated €2.4 billion, whilst wind energy accounted for 30 percent, or €2.1 billion.

“The more plants, operating companies, manufacturers or suppliers that are locally established, the more profitable is universal and decentralized development of renewable energies for municipalities in Germany,” stated IÖW. It went on to say that this “obvious” assumption has been confirmed for the first time in a scientifically founded, systematic calculation for all marketable renewable energy technologies.

Moreover, based on the study, it has said that municipalities of any size are able to determine what degree of value output renewable energies already generate locally or possibly even in the future – for example, through tax and leasing revenue, corporate earnings and jobs as well as by saving on fossil fuels.

Furthermore, it explained that a total of 0.6 billion euros alone in tax receipts flowed into the “strapped coffers” of the municipalities. With further dynamic development of renewable energies, the institute believes an approximate doubling of the current value output could be achieved by the year 2020.

“The fact that more and more cities and municipalities are converting to regenerative energy supplies demonstrates foresight both in terms of the regional economy and in terms of financial policy expertise,” commented Jörg Mayer, managing director of the Agency for Renewable Energies and commissioner of the study.

“They thus increase their attractiveness as a place to do business and improve the local budgetary situation. This in turn is a benefit for local citizens.”

In its study, IÖW said it analyzed all of the steps in the value output chain: from plant production to planning and installation, all the way through to operation and maintenance.

“Thirty-six percent of the sum total can be attributed to photovoltaic technology (2.4 billion euros) and thirty percent to wind energy (2.1 billion euros),” said Dr. Bernd Hirschl, director of the research field Sustainable Energy Management and Climate Protection at IÖW. In the future, the development of local value output will greatly depend in particular on the further development of decentralized renewable energies, he concluded.

The institute also said that in addition to large public utilities profiting from a conversion to renewable energies, rural areas are particular susceptible, due to their decentralized structure.

The Rhein-Hunsrück district in the Rhineland-Palatinate is a paragon example, it said: “In 1999 we began with renewable energies and there’s been no stopping us since,” reported County Commissioner Bertram Fleck (CDU). Today 1,500 regenerative energy installations cover nearly sixty percent of the region’s electricity requirements. He added: “In a few years, we will become exporters of electricity and earn €14.6 million euros in local value output per year.”