G20: Affordability, decentralization bolsters renewable energies in Europe

Global Business

The upcoming G-20 summit may be the most fraught to date and climate change is sure to be a key sticking point.

The U.S. has pledged to pull out of the Paris Accord – hosts Germany want to forge ahead. Does the wrangling really hamper the drive to save the planet though.

CGTN’s Guy Henderson has the story.

The Lacher family believe that the next phase in the global green revolution, starts at their house. Reichart and his wife Christine live an almost carbon neutral life in the Bavarian countryside.

Their consciences are clear – and they say it’s more affordable anyway. The Lachers are part of a groundswell of people across Germany who now control their own resources.

Life was a little more difficult a few years ago. But energy storage technology is developing fast. A German company, Sonnen Energy, said their house-hold battery sales are doubling every year.

They see the energy world gradually de-centralising.

“Germany is in the unique position of being the lab of the world where everybody can try how the energy transition will happen in practical life and other countries can learn – because what is happening here today will happen everywhere, it’s just question of time. Renewable energy is competitive today. The transition towards renewable energy will definitely happen – so what happens here right now will happen everywhere,”  Christoph Ostermann, CEO of Sonnen Energy said.

They now have a factory in the U.S. as well – and ship their product from here, mostly to other parts of the developed world. And with a new momentum – albeit moving in slightly different directions.

This off-shore wind farm developer is celebrating the completion of two new projects off the north German coast. And they’ve just taken on two more – both without any government subsidies: a world first.

Dong Energy executives call it a “man on the moon moment” for what is a larger, more centralised approach.

“I mean look at the United States of America: to a large degree, it’s corporate America that is leading this drive towards more renewables so it’s consumers behind it who say: I want products, I want to buy from companies that source their power from renewable sources. And once you’ve reach that point It’s not down to the next election, and then everything will go backwards. I think you start to be much more firmly rooted in the corporate world, in the consumer world: and these are very powerful forces,” Samuel Leupold from Dong Energy said.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs spoke to Yixiang Xu, new research initiative fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, on the cooperation between China and Germany on climate change.