Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 30 March 2023 – Among people living in Germany, 73% are unsatisfied with the progress of the energy transition in the country. Just 2% of the population are highly satisfied with progress in the shift away from fossil fuels; 16% are satisfied. These are some of the findings of a representative survey just published by TESVOLT AG, one of the technology leaders for energy storage in commercial and industrial sectors, and the opinion research institute forsa. A total of 1,021 people aged 18 and over took part in the survey, which was held nationwide in late February and early March, 2023. The aim of the survey was to gauge the current mood of the population on the issues of energy, the energy transition and renewable energy.
People in Germany currently see excessive bureaucracy as the greatest barrier to implementing the energy transition (77% of respondents). Other inhibiting factors cited included high investment costs (48%), strong interest groups (47%) and a lack of infrastructure (47%). Just 8% of people in Germany believe that a lack of state regulation represents the greatest barrier.
More renewable energies wanted – willingness to pay for the energy transition
Overall, a large majority of Germany’s population want to see more electricity from renewable energies; 74% of respondents believe that there will be greater use of solar power as an energy source in Germany in the future. Other popular sources include wind power (65%) and hydropower (57%). On the other hand, 28% of people in Germany would like to see greater use of nuclear energy.
The majority of the population is evidently prepared to dig deeper into their pockets to contribute to the energy transition, with 55% willing to spend more (or much more). However, 42% of the overall population are not prepared to consider further costs in their own contribution to the energy transition. This sentiment is even stronger among low income-earners (52%).
Improved climate action offerings required & drivers of innovation
To make climate action a higher priority in society, the majority of respondents think better offerings for households and companies to drive climate protection (66%), or greater state investment and funding for renewable energy (58%) is needed. But many also see clearer information (51%) and even climate action embedded in school lessons (46%) as the way to go. Stronger state regulation of energy consumption in households and companies, on the other hand, was seen as much less helpful (15%). Just 2% of the population think high-impact forms of protest like street blockades are an appropriate way of making climate action a higher priority in society. A total of 7% of people in Germany believe climate action does not deserve greater prioritisation at all, an opinion that is disproportionately common among low income-earners (10%).
The population has a clear idea of the institutions that are capable of developing the innovations and offerings that drive greater use of renewable energy. Universities and research institutes are seen as having the greatest expertise here (65%), followed by young companies and start-ups (57%), which are almost tied with SMEs (55%). Lagging a long way behind, on the other hand, are large corporations, with just 20% of respondents expecting them to produce innovation and offerings in the area of renewable energy. In last place are politicians – just 11% of the population believe they have the requisite expertise in this area.
Clean energy has to be affordable
The representative survey by TESVOLT and forsa also shows that climate action becomes less of a priority for people living in Germany, at least in the short term, when energy prices are high. When asked which energy-related issue they were currently most concerned about, 43% of respondents mentioned high energy prices. Germany’s dependency on other countries for energy supply came in second place, at 20%. Climate action only managed third place, with just 15%.
Simon Schandert, CTO and co-founder, TESVOLT AG: “The survey results show that the general public wants to see an expansion of renewable energy. And they are prepared to pay for it with their own money. But we have to create the right offerings if we want to act now to protect the climate and implement the energy transition effectively and economically. One clear message is that people in Germany expect researchers, young companies and SMEs to drive innovation here. The result has to be clean, affordable electricity for all – throughout the world. And that is the TESVOLT credo. We want to contribute to this goal with our commercial energy storage systems. Incidentally, 83% of survey respondents see energy storage systems as an important or even very important contribution to the energy transition. For us, that is both a great motivation and an obligation.”
Dr Peter Matuschek, Managing Director of forsa: “We wanted our survey to go beyond discussions in the renewable energy sector and among politicians, and reveal how the general public views the issue of the energy transition. The results of the survey show that a large majority support the expansion of renewable energies in principle. At the same time, however, many members of the public are not satisfied with how the energy transition is being implemented. Along with securing energy supplies, the acceptance of the energy transition will depend above all on whether the associated costs are tenable for members of the public. In view of widespread concerns about high energy prices, this represents a major challenge for politicians.”
TESVOLT AG is one of the innovation and market leaders for commercial and industrial energy storage system solutions in Germany and Europe. TESVOLT products enable companies to end their energy dependency and play a part in the energy transition. The agile company produces intelligent lithium storage systems with power ratings from 10 kilowatt hours through to multiple megawatt hours – with top quality and TÜV-certified safety. TESVOLT manufactures its commercial storage system solutions in series production at its own carbon-neutral gigafactory in Lutherstadt Wittenberg and delivers them worldwide. The company has already received several awards, including the German Entrepreneur Award in the “Rising Stars” category, “Innovator of the Year” from TOP 100 and the smarter E Award in the “Outstanding Projects” category.