22 May 2024, 13:21
Julian Wettengel

Renewables important industry location advantage in German rural areas – report

Clean Energy Wire

Widely available renewable electricity has become an important business location factor and competitive advantage for rural areas in Germany, the private industry-sponsored German Economic Institute (IW) found in a report. As the country's industry increasingly aims to become a pioneer in electrified production processes, "the increased use of electricity in industry allows regions that are located away from the industrial centres in the south to position themselves in the competition between locations," said IW. Especially regions in Germany's north have drawn new industry investments, such as the companies Northvolt in the Dithmarschen district in northern state Schleswig-Holstein, or Intel in the Magdeburg area in northeastern Saxony-Anhalt. However, a key hurdle for many regions is the lack of skilled workers needed to plan, construct and maintain renewable energy facilities, IW added.

More than three quarters of the country's installed net capacity of solar and wind energy sources is located in rural areas, making these central to the energy transition, IW said. Rural regions in Bavaria lead when it comes to solar PV installations thanks to relatively more sunshine hours, while areas in northern Germany have a clear advantage due to good wind power conditions. Every two years, IW Consult, a subsidiary of the German Economic Institute, examines which regions in Germany are particularly liveable, have a good labour market and a stable economic structure.

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