Bottlenecks in regulation and financing must be eliminated to drive green energy transformation
Washington DC/Berlin, November 15, 2021 – Developing a climate-neutral energy supply is the biggest investment project of this century. At the Transatlantic Sun&Wind Belt Roundtable, leaders from the U.S. and Germany shared their views on how to secure financing for the green transformation. It became clear that in the U.S. and in Germany, current instruments are not sufficient to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies fast enough to reach climate goals.
Before even talking about financing, the regulatory environment must be adapted. “Right now, the problem is not the lack of available capital or the willingness to invest – it is the lack of investment projects!” said Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Finance at the beginning of the event. Christian Kern, former Chancellor of Austria, Managing Director at The Blue Minds Co. shared this view: “We have already lost too much time. Policymakers must act quickly, eliminate regulatory bottlenecks for wind and PV projects and drive the energy transition forward with generous funding and smart regulation.”
When it comes to identifying the right financing instruments, a more in-depth exchange between the U.S. and Germany would add value for both sides. “When it comes to financing green transformation projects, we face similar issues in the U.S. and Germany. Exchanging best practices on how to provide investment security and incentivize investments would be beneficial for stakeholders in both countries,” said Trond Rokholt, Managing Director of the New York Green Bank. The biggest U.S. green investment bank finances large and small-scale renewable energy projects and aims to attract private-sector capital to accelerate the deployment of clean energy throughout New York state.
To prevent a future financing gap when the number of RE projects increases, Dr. Gerald Prodobnik, CFO of Deutsche Bank Corporate Bank, called for the evaluation and necessary adjustment of measures. “Investments in the expansion of renewable energies are characterized by high volatility and a long duration. Therefore, we need to establish reliable framework conditions in order to secure funding for these projects.” In addition, in developing projects, “investments by SMEs as well as large players, but also by private investors, must be both promoted and secured,” Christian Kern said.
One of the main takeaways from the discussion was that German and U.S. companies are basically facing the same challenges and opportunities for a strategic realignment. “We have the technologies, and we have the potential. Renewables are even cheaper than fossil sources, and investors are ready to step in on both sides of the Atlantic. The key is now to create reliable framework conditions to get the investments into the market,” said Milan Nitzschke, founder of the Transatlantic Sun&Wind Belt.
More than 25 representatives from industry and energy suppliers from the United States and Germany participated in the virtual roundtable of the transatlantic business initiative. The initiative’s goal is to create a transatlantic network for the exchange of best practices to promote the energy transition and the expansion of renewable energies.
About “The Transatlantic Sun&Wind Belt”
The Transatlantic Sun&Wind Belt Initiative is the first transatlantic business initiative to promote the further enhancement of the green transformation and drive in-depth cooperation. The initiative engages in active dialogue with political stakeholders and promotes the exchange of expertise, experience and investment between the U.S. and Germany – the two largest market-based leaders in renewable energy development and deployment. Website: www.sunandwindbelt.com
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