Germany: Utility survey reveals solar and Energiewende remain popular

The BDEW carried out a survey of 1,000 Germans to gather their opinions as to various industry sectors and the Energiewende in general. The result is that, together with the provision of drinking water and water treatment, solar is the second most favorably viewed sector in the country.

Among the less popular industries are, somewhat unsurprisingly, insurance companies and banks, the oil and chemical industries as well as gas and electricity suppliers.

The BDEW is a peak body representing water and electricity and water utilities in Germany. The survey results were published in its Energy Monitor 2016 report.

The survey also found that the Energiewende remains popular amongst Germans. Of the 1,000 survey respondents, 57% saw the Energiewende as "very important," with an additional 36% saying it is "important." Only 6% found the Energiewende to be "less important" or "not at all important."

Interestingly, many respondents believe that the transition away from fossil fuels towards renewables is happening too slowly. The survey found 38% believe the transition is being held back because of public policy failures, with 25% blaming electric utilities themselves for the delay. 29% believe that high costs are the cause of delays in the Energiewende project being realized.

On the theme of costs, 69% of people surveyed said they believe renewables are the cause of rising electricity prices. Although Germans are skeptical of renewables destabilizing the grid, according to the survey, with 80% saying that security would not be compromised as renewable penetration increased.

Looking to the positives delivered by the Energiewende, 67% saw a benefit to German industry, 43% a personal or household benefit, with 40% saying there is little effect. Environmental protection was the key upside delivered on a societal level, the survey found, with 59% saying this was the primary advantage. 29% saw climate protection as a key advantage, with 19% believing economic savings can be made through the Energiewende while 13% saw value in gaining independence from oil supply.