Financing the Global Energy-System Transformation

Policy Paper 7

WBGU, Berlin, 2012
39 pages, ISBN 978-3-936191-61-5

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The world faces the challenge of a global transformation to sustainable energy systems. Substantial up-front investments are needed to improve energy efficiency and switch to renewable energies. At the same time, these investments offer great opportunities, because strategic innovations can be triggered and new markets can develop in the course of the transformation process. Savings on the cost of fossil fuels in conventional technologies could completely offset the investment in renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency by as early as 2040. The private capital needed for the transformation is available and can be mobilised if a suitable political framework is put into place. A corresponding regulatory policy should be introduced to make such investment more attractive for the private sector. The WBGU advocates a proactive state that integrates energy, environmental and climate policy; this could reduce existing investment risks by developing a stable, long-term transformative regulatory framework. At the same time, policy makers should expand the opportunities for participation. Germany is currently leading this transformation, both in terms of technological innovations and in the creation of a suitable policy framework. Our country is able to give the world an example of how the Energiewende (energy-system transformation) can generate more, not less prosperity. 

 

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