Why optimists are now investing in green electricity generation
It is still possible to overcome the climate crisis and limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius, but only if we manage the immediate switch to renewable energies. But the jump in gross electricity consumption from the current 20% to the necessary 80% green electricity in Europe by 2030 is huge. We no longer have enough time to wait for governments, energy suppliers and institutional investors to do just that. That is why now is the time for all those who believe in a livable future on this planet to invest capital in the vaccine to solve the climate crisis: green electricity. This is mainly produced by solar and wind power plants, but the construction of renewable energy plants requires massive investments. Private investors in particular are an important factor in accelerating the necessary boom in renewables. Is that enough to save the earth?
What were we laughed at. When a few people around Thomas Prudlo, then Managing Director of Green City e.V., began to screw the first solar modules on the roofs of Munich apartment buildings in autumn 1998, solar energy was still something for dreamers and weirdos. Too expensive, no potential, what nonsense but also. Today, renewable energies are the great hope for a climate-neutral energy supply, which are also unrivalled cheap and available in unlimited quantities. The future belongs to the universal energy source green electricity, there is no doubt about that. Perhaps the most important argument for renewables is the demand for electricity, whose growth rate will exceed other energy sources by a factor of seven by 2050. The main reason for this is the electrification of the heating and transport sector as well as industry. The all-encompassing digitalization is a driver for increasing electricity demand, but also the “missing link” for the smart linking of generators and consumers. Green, digitally controlled electricity becomes the elixir of life. This becomes all the more evident when the recent correction in rising electricity consumption by 2030 is compared to the previous forecast in Germany. Around 10,000 wind turbines are needed to generate these additional 65 terawatt hours announced by the Ministry of Economic Affairs alone. Additional!
The solution is to satisfy the hunger for energy in all sectors of the economy and to maintain our level of prosperity is green electricity. The material constraint is called a climate crisis and that leaves us little time to act. According to the current reference scenario of the Global Energy Perspective Report, global CO2 emissions will be reached in 2023, but with the development foreseeable today, our CO2 budget will be used up by 2030. [sic!] Again, to make it work: Not at some point, but in nine years’ time, the global community must function in a climate-neutral manner if we want to achieve the goal of a maximum of 1.5° Celsius global warming. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), we will have to invest a huge 131 trillion US dollars in renewable energies by 2050, otherwise the furnace will be on. The good news is that it would be the best investment with a unique return – preserving our livelihoods. The driving force behind the management of money flows into a sustainable future is the world’s population itself.
Let us not deceive ourselves, neither in terms of the irresponsible hesitancy of global energy policy nor in terms of our collective potential to take our fate into our own hands. The latter is the wild card for a successful energy transition. This has been proven by tens of thousands of citizens who gave renewables in Germany the start-up capital in the noughties, with which the sun and wind have risen to become the world’s leading energy sources. Among them were all investors from the Green City network who have so far enabled well over half a billion euros to invest in wind, hydro and solar power plants. Let us not make ourselves smaller than we are.
What we all have to do now is crystal clear. We must multiply our efforts and accelerate the transformation process of our energy supply as much as possible. Although the energy and financial markets with their major players are changing, they are not moving fast enough. According to IRENA, we will need around 11,000 gigawatts of renewable generation capacity worldwide by 2030, which is a fourfold increase in the current installed capacity. In Europe, 600 GW of capacity must be installed in the next 10 years. That’s 250,000 wind turbines and/or thousands of megawatt-class solar farms.
It’s best to start right away. With our growing number of investors, we at Green City AG are confident that we will install and finance one gigawatt in the coming years. We have enough wind and solar projects in development, what it takes is capital and people who have understood that the time to act has come now. We are still dreamers today, because we firmly believe that we as a collective, as a community of investors, can be the butterfly blow that once again influenced the transformation of our energy production at the decisive moment. With an investment in our new investment facility, the “Green City Wind Farm 2021”,investors can benefit directly from a German wind farm with two turbines in Saarland. Yes, together we can still save the Earth.
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Word Energy Transition Outlook, 1.5° Pathway, IRENA, 2021
Fueling the energy transition: Opportunities for financial institutions & Global Energy Perspective 2021 McKinsey & Company, 2019 & 2021