Germany to pump 17bn euros into energy saving moves

12th May 2016, Comments 0 comments

Germany on Thursday said it would pump 17 billion euros (US$19 billion) into programmes targeted at getting the population to save energy as the country switches over to renewable resources.

The new slew of programmes include subsidies for better insulation of buildings, public support for energy efficiency research, as well as an initiative on the installation of intelligent electric counters that would help fuel energy savings.

In all, 17 billion euros will be allocated to such programmes and other existing ones by 2020.

"The cleanest and cheapest energy is what we don't use," said Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, presenting the programmes.

Germany in 2011 decided to end nuclear energy production by 2022, while also switching from fossil fuels to clean energy this century.

By 2050, it aims to meet 80 percent of electricity needs with renewables such as wind, solar and biogas, which now generate around a quarter.

Slashing consumption is a key pillar of the plan, with a target to reduce energy usage from the levels in 2008 by a fifth by 2020 and to cut it by half by 2050.

Between 2008 and 2014, consumption in Europe's top economy fell by more than 8 percent, but Gabriel said more efforts had to be made.

In a report published Thursday, Deutsche Bank said that "without substantial progress in energy saving, the energy transition will fail".

Experts believe that Germany will not meet its 2020 target, while achieving the 2050 aim would require "technological advances, economic structures and little change in temperatures".

© 2016 AFP

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