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KfW’s significant contribution to the energy transition:

Press Release from 2018-02-06 / Group, Sustainability, KfW Research

47% of renewable generating capacity installed in Germany in 2015/2016 financed by KfW

KfW’s programmes have a strong impact:

  • Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions down by 9.5 million tonnes each year
  • EUR 550 million in fuel imports avoided each year
  • Around 89,000 jobs secured for a year

KfW’s various domestic programmes for the promotion of renewable energy make a substantial contribution to the transition of energy supply to renewable sources. In the years 2015 and 2016 the bank financed some EUR 15 billion in investments in the expansion of renewable energy with promotional loans totalling EUR 10 billion. This is the finding of a study conducted by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). The significance of KfW’s programmes for the electricity sector is particularly noteworthy. The bank financed around 47% of new generating capacity from renewables that was installed in Germany in the years 2015 and 2016. A particularly high share of onshore wind energy was financed by KfW (56%).

“KfW’s promotional programmes make an important contribution to climate action. They also have a positive impact on the labour market and reduce Germany’s dependence on energy imports”, said Dr Jörg Zeuner, Chief Economist of KfW Group.

In the past years major progress has been made in expanding the use of renewable energy in the electricity sector. A high need for catching up remains in the areas of heating and transport.

“Much of the climate-friendly conversion of energy supply in these two sectors, however, will have to be based on electricity generated from renewables. The expansion of renewable energy in the electricity sector will therefore have to be continued systematically along with building refurbishment”, demanded Dr Jörg Zeuner.

Other key findings of the study:

  • The renewable energy systems financed by KfW in Germany in 2015/16 reduce greenhouse gas emissions permanently by a total of 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. A further 0.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year was avoided by systems financed abroad over the same period.
  • The reductions in greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions brought about by the projects financed in Germany can prevent an estimated EUR 960 million in damage caused primarily by climate change on a global scale each year.
  • The energy systems financed in the years 2015/2016 allowed Germany to avoid energy imports worth a total of around EUR 550 million each year. Across the expected 20-year lifetime of the system, this will amount to some EUR 11 billion in savings.
  • The manufacture and construction of the systems financed and installed in 2015 and 2016 (excluding offshore wind energy) secured or newly created around 89,000 jobs in Germany for a year. Another 2,700 jobs were added each year for system operation and maintenance.

The study entitled “Evaluation of KfW’s domestic programmes for promoting renewable energy in the years 2015 and 2016” prepared by the Stuttgart Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) is available in German at www.kfw.de/Evaluationen.


Portrait Dr. Charis Pöthig 2014

Dr Charis Pöthig


+49 69 74 31 46 83


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