German households increasingly make individual climate action investments – KfW study
Clean Energy Wire
Despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis, 92 percent of German households continue to see the energy transition as important or very important and increasingly start making individual emissions reduction investments, according to a new study by the government-owned KfW development bank. The figure is even slightly higher than before the COVID-19 outbreak. In its newly published 2021 Energy Transition Barometer, the KfW surveyed some 4,000 households on their views about the current and future use of energy transition-related technologies. Germans are increasingly using or looking to acquire such technologies. While numbers are still low, the share of households already using at least one transition technology – photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal energy, battery storage, heat pumps, combined heat and power, wood pellet heating or e-cars – rose from 23 percent last year to nearly 27 percent. Another 7 percent of households are planning a purchase within the next year. The KfW Barometer forecasts the highest future growth rates to be in e-cars and PV systems, noting that 4.9 and 4.1 percent of households are planning respective purchases soon. “The climate goals can only be achieved if households with low incomes are also activated for the energy transition,” the KfW states, adding that the use of transition technologies was lowest in low-income households.
At the same time, such households live more often in older and less efficient buildings, where the greatest need to catch up likely exists. The increasing economic burden of climate protection measures on low-income families has become a major issue in Germany ahead of this month’s federal election.