Germany's leading role in green technologies at risk – agency
Clean Energy Wire
Germany's strong position in the global market for environmental technologies is at risk, warns the country's environment agency (UBA). "Germany's international competitiveness has declined significantly over the past ten years," UBA said in a press release accompanying two reports on the topic. Germany's share of the global trade in environmental goods fell by 3.2 percentage points from 16.8 percent in 2007 to 13.6 percent in 2017, while its share of related patents fell from 18.2 percent in the period 2002-2006 to 13.5 percent in 2012-2016. But Germany remained among the top three countries filing new patents applications, along with Japan and the USA. German companies made environmental goods worth more than 86 billion euros in 2017, equivalent to about six percent of the country's entire industrial production, according to UBA.
"In the course of the energy transition, it has been possible to gear technical innovations more strongly towards climate protection and to increase the speed of innovation significantly," UBA said. "The number of patent applications for climate protection technologies rose more than twice as fast as the total number of patent applications between 1991 and 2016." The agency called for a comprehensive policy concept that not only supports research and development, but also provides the right price incentives so that environmental technologies can succeed on the market. The agency also proposed a public fund to support green start-ups working on "radical and disruptive" technologies.