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Meeting Global Challenges
• Intelligent city planning and improving public transport (more charging).
• Hybrid engine technologies.
• Sustainable biofuels.
• Gradual transition toward large-scale penetration of cleaner vehicles in all transport modes, including plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (powered by batteries or fuel cells) at a later stage.
A major part of the strategy, she said, is promotion of more energy efficient buildings. New buildings constructed from 2021 onward will have to be nearly zero-energy buildings. To attain this, existing building stock will need energy-saving building components and equipment costing up to 200 billion Euros over 10 years, along with low-carbon electricity and heating.
The EU Commission had estimated the need for public and private investments of about 270 billion Euros annually for 40 years to reach this low-carbon future by 2050, she said. At the same time, decarbonizing would bring benefits. Energy efficiency can reduce the EU’s average fuel costs by between 175 and 320 billion Euros per year. This would be accompanied by substantial creation of new jobs in deploying renewables, low-carbon technologies, investments, and especially energy efficiency. Already the work force of the renewable energy industry has increased by about 230,000 to 500,000 persons EU-wide in the past five years.
Germany’s own Roadmap 2050, she said, was aligned with that of the EU, sharing the major goals. In addition to the 80 percent reduction in GHGs, it envisions an 80 percent share of renewable energy in electricity generation and a 50 percent reduction in primary energy consumption by 2050. A particular priority area has always been energy efficiency in buildings, where most EU countries currently lag.
Dr. Braun concluded by summarizing some of the estimated impacts of the energy efficiency strategy. The minimum required investments in efficiency by 2020 are estimated at 100 billion Euros for smart grids, 25 billion Euros for insulation, and 50 billion Euros for sustainable mobility. Public spending will be divided among R&D, an energy and climate fund, and financial support for new building. The price of electricity is estimated to rise slightly, by 1 to 5 percent, and total emissions to rise by some 25 million tons, or about 9 percent. On the positive side, 20 million Euros per year in energy savings are anticipated, along with many new.