Wind of change

Wind power is now the cheapest energy in both the UK and Germany, according to a recent article by Bloomberg Business. This renewable does benefit from certain governmental subsidy schemes in both countries, but it’s still an impressive claim. What is more, says an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, wind and solar are set to become even more attractive: rising capacities in the renewables sector will kick start a virtuous cycle that eats further into the relative profitability of fossil-fuel power plants in favor of renewable energy production.

In addition to economic factors, Germany’s government has also set up an attractive legal framework to stimulate the development of the country’s offshore wind energy. Following the accident at Japan’s Fukushima power plant, Germany decided to turn its back on nuclear energy. As part of this energy transition (“Energiewende”) the state has extended its guaranteed feed-in tariff for renewables.

The focus turns offshore

Most onshore locations have already been taken, so the wind energy industry is now focusing on offshore sites. Germany is set to increase the capacity of its offshore wind parks from 3,000 MW in 2015 to 7,700 MW in 2020. Initial planning had focused on reaching 6,500 MW by then, but recent internal German government reports show that the additional offshore wind energy capacity might actually be achievable. This, at least, is what German magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” recently reported online.

As a pioneer of Responsible Investing, Fritz Kaiser has been monitoring developments carefully: “In the pioneering stage, the legal framework established by the government was insufficiently defined. This has now been corrected,” said the wealth advisor and entrepreneur in an interview for Switzerland’s “Du” magazine in April 2015.

But Kaiser felt there was still an issue to address: “Some companies that developed projects in the early phase were underfunded.” So he founded Sea Wind Holding AG to help develop wind energy projects. In fact, it’s a win-win situation for the projects and investors: “Interest rates are low and the family offices of private investors are searching for attractive investments with limited risk and reasonable, sustainable returns.”

Tilmann Schaal As the editor of Perspectives, Tilmann Schaal is interested in everything that influences our lives and the future of wealth. He has worked in digital communications for more than 15 years and has been in charge of The Classic Car Trust’s news blog from 2012 to 2018.

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