Green jobs, higher energy security, GHG mitigation – can the benefits of RE justify the costs

The side event was supported by the German Federal Environment Ministry. It hosted a panel of four speakers, Dr. Mario Ragwitz ( Fraunhofer ISI, Germany) and Dr. Ulrike Lehr (Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftliche Strukturforschung, Germany) who presented two studieson the costs and overall economic benefits of increasing renewable energy in the past and gave a future outlook, Christine Lins from EREC and Vinuta Gopal (Greenpeace) commented from the european and the Indian perspective. The event was chaired by Dr. Kandeh Yumkella (UNIDO).

Despite the undisputed success of RES in Germany the overall effects in terms of costs and benefits are a much disputed issue. Dr. Ragwitz presented a detailed analysis of different cost categories  such as transaction costs or investment costs as well as benefits in terms of mitigated GHG and decreases in fossil fuel imports. Dr. Lehr showed that even with the very high PV increases in 2009 and 2010 in Germany, the overall future economic effects are positive. Net employment will rise and GDP will be higher compared to a world without RES.

The panel discussion highlighted the chances also for other European Countries and for developing countries as well. Renewables create benefits in terms of domestic jobs also and particularly in rural areas.

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