What impact has Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ had on infrastructure and the labour market?

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The sharp increase in the use of renewables like solar and wind has provided more flexibility to the German electricity market.

Energy-intensive industries have renewables to thank for the decline in wholesale prices. They are also benefitting from the economic impetus that has been stimulated by the large investments made in solar, wind etc.

Germany’s electricity exports are rising, in part because prices are low due to abundant supply from renewable energy sources. So more energy will be exported from Germany if, for example, there is more solar capacity.

As more renewable power plants are constructed, mostly either by individuals and civil energy cooperatives, a significant change to the energy market and its decentralisation are underway.

The Energiewende has created an emerging job market. In 2014, there were 355,400 people working in the renewable energy sector in Germany.

Between 1995 and 2012 the energy efficiency measures have created more than 400,000? new jobs, including jobs in the construction sector and consulting services.

Within the sector, wind energy accounts for the most jobs, followed by biomass and solar.

Sources: Bundesnetzagentur, Institute of Economic Structures Researches (GWS), statistica, Agora Energiewende, Agentur für Erneuerbare Energien, trend:research, Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg, BMUB, ENTSO-E

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