Germany Offers $15 Billion to Property Owners Cutting Emissions

  • Germany steps up finance to help meet 2020 CO2 reduction goal
  • Bulk of energy efficiency finance offered by KfW bank

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is offering home and factory owners at least 13 billion euros ($14.8 billion) in loans and subsidies over the next four years to reduce the carbon emitted from their properties.

The money, earmarked in the mid-term federal budget plan, will be disbursed to property owners who sign up to programs to cut power and heat consumption, said the Economy and Energy Ministry Thursday in Berlin. About 8 billion euros of the allocation are being offered in programs run by the Frankfurt-based KfW development bank Frankfurt, it said.

Germany, Europe’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, is struggling to reach its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. It notched a reduction of 27 percent by last year with sectors including heat efficiency, transport and farming lagging behind. About 30 percent of Germany’s carbon dioxide output comes from heating buildings, according to the ministry.

“The cleanest and cheapest energy is the one you don’t use at all,” Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said to reporters today in Berlin. “Expanding renewable energy alone won’t realize the climate protection goals of energy policy.”

Merkel’s government is aiming to fine tune the surging growth in wind and solar energy, which has caused difficulties for transmission networks as power-grid upgrades drag on. Auctions for clean power will be introduced from 2017, tapering commitments made during two decades of guaranteed payment programs. Subsidies have been credited with making German power the second most costly in Europe after Denmark.

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