Key Findings

The Energiewende is Germany’s largest post-war infrastructure project. It strengthens its economy and creates new jobs.

The economic benefits of the transition already today outweigh the additional cost over "business as usual". The switch to a highly efficient renewable energy economy will require large-scale investments of up to 200 billion euros. Renewables only seem to cost more than conventional energy, but they are getting cheaper, while conventional energy is getting more expensive; furthermore, fossil fuel remains highly subsidized, and the price of fossil fuel does not include environmental impacts. By replacing energy imports with renewables, Germany’s trade balance will improve and its energy security will strengthen. Already, roughly 350,000 Germans work in the renewables sector – far more than in the conventional energy sector. Unemployment has reached an all-time low since reunification in 1990. While some of these are manufacturing jobs, many others are in installing and maintenance. These jobs for technicians, installers, and architects have been created locally and can’t be outsourced. They already have helped Germany to come through the economic and financial crisis much better than other countries.

Renewables create more jobs than coal power does

These figures represent “gross job creation,” meaning the absolute number of jobs that have been added. A thorough study of the German market estimates a net job creation of around 80,000, rising to 100,000 – 150,000 in the period from 2020 to 2030. One reason why renewables have such a positive impact on net job creation is that renewable power directly o sets power from nuclear plants, and very few people work in those sectors

Source: DLR, DIW, GRS, Renewables data from 2014.