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No. 144/05 | Berlin, 03.06.2005

Trittin and Wieczorek-Zeul: Global transformation of energy systems is making progress

Agreements of the renewables2004 conference in Bonn for the expansion of renewable energies are being implemented

The international conference "renewables2004" in Bonn has given a lot of impetus to the global transformation of energy systems. Federal Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin stressed this fact on the anniversary of the Bonn conference. Both Ministers highlighted that the worldwide expansion of renewable energies equally promotes climate protection and poverty reduction.

Representatives of 154 governments, trade and industry and various civil organisations from all over the world participated in renewables2004 from 1 to 4 June 2004 in Bonn. The International Action Programme agreed on at the conference includes about 200 concrete measures and commitments on a voluntary basis for the expansion of renewable energies. One of the especially ambitious goals is China's plan to generate 10 per cent of its electricity from water, wind, biomass and solar energy by 2010. The share is to be doubled to 20 per cent by 2020. This year China passed a law for the promotion of renewable energies modelled on the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).

Federal Chancellor Schröder announced in Bonn that the federal government would provide 500 million euro over a period of five years for the expansion of renewable energies and the improvement of energy efficiency, starting in 2005. This special facility was set up with the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). Germany had already promised to provide a total of 1 billion euro for these sectors at the Johannesburg Summit 2002. At the Bonn conference the World Bank committed itself to increase its financial support for renewable energies and energy efficiency by at least 20 per cent every year.

Federal Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul: "Agreements were followed by actions. In core areas we have already made considerable progress: Uganda is researching the possibilities of using geothermal energy, nine countries are assessing concrete programmes that are to be implemented with the support of the special facility, China increased its energy generation through wind power by 35 percent last year and has also equipped 130,000 homes with photovoltaic technology. For this year, the World Bank has already ensured the annual increase of 20 per cent for the promotion of renewable energy. During the last two years German funds alone enabled us to provide 41 million people in developing countries with power from renewable energies. This means: 41 million people have the chance to set up a small business, infirmaries are able to cool medicine and schools are provided with electricity. Renewable energies are a way to improve living conditions and to reduce poverty. Furthermore, they create jobs here and protect the climate."

Federal Environment Minister Trittin: "The implementation of the agreed measures, which is well on its way, is a great relief for the climate and creates a huge volume of investment of more than 300 billion US dollar. We can cut CO2 emissions worldwide by 1.2 billion tonnes a year up to 2015. The UN is to monitor the implementation so that the voluntary contributions do not remain non-binding. We will discuss this topic at the follow-up conference in China at the end of this year."

As a whole, renewable energies boomed considerably last year: the increase in grid-connected photovoltaics was at 40 per cent, 20 per cent in wind energy, 20 per cent in solar panels and 14 per cent in biofuels. Both ministers stressed that this was a fundamental contribution towards achieving the goals of climate protection. The EU Heads of State and Government agreed to limit global warming to a maximum of 2°C. The European Union also aims at reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 30 per cent by 2020.

At present 85 development programmes with a volume of 842 million euro are carried out in the renewable energies sector. During the last two years the Federal Development Ministry also reached agreements with private companies in 18 countries to extend the grid to rural areas, to improve energy efficiency and to expand renewable energies.

Federal Environment Minister Trittin pointed to the fact that thanks to the amended Renewable Energy Sources Act of August 2004 the expansion of renewable energies in Germany was further accelerated. Trittin: "The share in energy generation is about 10 per cent and was therefore doubled within only five years. With an installed capacity of 17,000 megawatt (MW) Germany not only has a leading position in wind energy. With 300 MWp it also has the strongest growth worldwide in the photovoltaic sector. The renewable energy sector has created 130,000 jobs in our country so far and in 2004 renewable energies saved 70 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in Germany." Germany wants to raise the share of renewable energies in energy generation to at least 12.5 percent by 2010 and to at least 20 per cent by 2020.

Note: Further information on the topic of renewable energies and the renewables2004 is available on the Internet at www.erneuerbare-energien.de and www.bmz.de.

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