The Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), an advocacy organization for alternative energy, conducted a comprehensive study to determine how German households and businesses bankrolled energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts. The billionaire hedge fund manager, George Sorros, financed the study.
In 2010, Germany spent 1.5% of their gross domestic product on alternative energy subsidies, amounting to 37 billion euros. The study determined that the German government is scrambling to keep businesses and households interested in alternative energy. 22 billion euros were invested by private capital while individuals invested 14 billion.
However, all of these investments were due entirely to subsidies by the German government. Subsidies aside, nearly 50% of private climate investments resulted from government-guaranteed low interest loans. The government has some explaining to do.
The study revealed that while Germany has publicly pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to between 80 and 95% by 2050 and phasing out nuclear power by 2022, the country has a long way to go. In fact, the study determined that the best short-term solution to reducing carbon emissions include simply modifying existing buildings to be more energy efficient.
The country’s ultimate goal is to create the foundation that makes renewable energy and energy efficiency attractive to households and corporations in the first place. Once Germany can achieve that on a grand scale, the country can take on larger, more ambitious alternative energy endeavors.