Germany to save money from greenhouse gas emission reductions

Coal Power Plant south-west of Düsseldorf and Neuss

Publish date: November 8, 2007

Written by: Eivind Hoff

BRUSSELS - The German government's climate protection programme will lead to savings of five billion euro in private households and industry by 2020, according to the provisional findings of the government's integrated energy and climate programme’s cost-benefit analysis.

The interim report was presented on October 31st by Prof. Andreas Troge, president of the German Environment Agency, and German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel. According to the study, the measures adopted by the German cabinet in August in Meseberg will lead to savings of over EUR 36 billion of coal, oil and gas consumption.

In contrast, the additional costs for corresponding investments will amount to only EUR 31 billion euros. On average, every tonne of CO2 saved has a savings effect of EUR 26, proving that emissions reductions pay off.

"These are very encouraging findings. They confirm in particular that energy savings make economic sense – notwithstanding climate change. This holds true in every country," Bellona energy advisor Ane Brunvoll says.

The German Environment Agency carried out two calculations. First, the climate protection impacts of the integrated energy and climate programme were analysed. According to this, the adopted measures can reduce CO2 emissions in Germany by 36 percent by 2020 compared with the base year of 1990.

Secondly, an expert team carried out an economic assessment of the central measures of the integrated energy and climate programme. It found that:

  • All measures in the field of energy efficiency lead to net savings; the savings in energy costs outweigh the additional investments required.
  • CO2 avoidance costs through combined heat-power generation and through increased use of renewables in the electricity sector are moderate.
  • The costs in the heat and biofuel sector are higher. Such energy is still at the beginning of a technological development similar to the development triggered in Germany for renewables in the electricitysector five to 10 years ago.
  • In total, the package leads to savings for industry and for households. The government’s support programmes – such as building a modernisation programme – will ensure that any possible high start-up investments can be borne by households.

Environment Minister Gabriel said: "We will adopt the implementation of the key elements of the Meseberg package in the cabinet before the international climate change conference in Bali at the beginning of December. By doing this we will send an important signal for international negotiations: climate protection pays off."