Renewable Energy

Pastures Not so Green

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Growth has stalled, but renewable energy is seen as the future. Investors must be careful where they put their money.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • In the wake of Fukushima, the German government passed laws that will shut down all nuclear power plants by 2022.
    • Shares in Germany’s top three energy groups – E.ON, RWE and EnBW – lost an average 56 percent, or €50 billion in combined market value, in the wake of this decision.
    • The companies have filed lawsuits against the government, claiming more than €24 billion related to Merkel’s nuclear policy, which they claim is unfair and has robbed them of one of their main profit centers overnight.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Windkraft in der Eifel
In the renewable energy sector, the grass isn’t always green. Source: Oliver Berg/DPA.

Lego has built a 7.5-meter high wind farm made out of 146,000 Lego blocks. With its record-breaking facility, the Danish toymaker did not just seek more attention. The company also sought to drive home the message that, after investing in two offshore wind parks, it now gets 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

Lego isn’t the only firm that has discovered the appeal of renewable energy. Many other companies believe this young sector is the energy market of the future, and many experts rank it as an attractive area for investments.

It’s not hard to see why. Global demand for energy is increasing steadily. British Petroleum predicts it will jump by 30 percent by 2035. In addition, the realization that fossil fuels won’t last forever and the looming consequences of climate change have made regenerative energy increasingly important. The German government wants 45 percent of the country’s electricity supply to be from green energies by 2025.

For investors, this sound like there’s a lot of easy money to be made in that sector. But in Germany, the sector may be young and full of potential, but it’s also vulnerable to crises.

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