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Prof. Dr Jörn Hoppmann

Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law

“It’s all about money“

“It’s all about money“

“The key to the energy transition lies in the financial sector – it's all about money. If banks and financial markets stop investing in fossil fuels and even withdraw their money from fossil fuel companies, the transition to a renewable energy system can succeed. However, due to the structure of the current system this won’t be easy. In Germany, energy companies often have close ties to regional investors such as local authorities which, for example, hold shares in these companies. Because local authorities receive dividends as shareholders or are linked to these companies in other ways disinvestments are not carried out as quickly as they need to be. In addition, the economy needs to invest in the expansion of renewable energies. This means that in view of rising demand for technologies such as photovoltaic systems, e-cars or heat pumps, companies need to expand their capacities and train skilled workers. In the field of mobility there are already innovative concepts for retraining skilled workers. This shows that change is possible, but building up competence in these areas is a lengthy process, which in turn is delaying the necessary disinvestments.  

The Ukraine crisis has temporarily made investments in fossil fuels necessary again. However, in the long term the only way to complete the energy transition is to withdraw from fossil fuels. The current investments should take this into account. For example, it would be advantageous if the liquefied gas terminals that are currently in construction were designed in such a way that the infrastructure can also be used for green hydrogen later on. We must not tie ourselves to the past any more than necessary. It’s a positive development that households and companies are rethinking their energy consumption. The energy crisis has really fired up the debate, which could have a positive impact in the long run.”

(Changed: 18 Nov 2022)