Funding program: Industry should become greener

Status: 04.12.2022 18:51

Those who make their industrial production climate-friendly should receive money for investments: this is the result of a draft by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Minister Habeck announced that the first contracts could be signed at the beginning of the year.

The federal government wants to launch billions in funding for the switch to more climate-friendly production processes in industry. “Industry is being supported in switching to renewable energies or, above all, to hydrogen,” said Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). The state compensates for the “differential costs”. The funding instrument should apply to the steel, chemical, cement and glass industries, for example.

use of hydrogen

Germany wants to be climate neutral by 2045. The industry argues that switching to climate-friendly production is costly and restricts their competitiveness. The directive therefore provides for so-called climate protection agreements to be concluded with the industry: those who make their production climate-friendly receive both money for investments and annual funds for the more expensive, green production with the agreement between the state and the company. It is primarily about the use of hydrogen, which is intended to replace coking coal, oil or natural gas. The contracts are to have a term of 15 years, according to the draft directive, which is now being voted on. Habeck expressed confidence that the contracts can be concluded at the beginning of next year.

In order for companies to be eligible, the electricity used for industrial production must consist of 100 percent renewable energies, the ministry said. If hydrogen is used, it must meet the strict criteria of the EU taxonomy. Blue hydrogen may only be used if only low emissions are produced during production. If you use particularly clean green hydrogen, you will receive a higher subsidy than if you use blue hydrogen.

Industry reacts positively, Union warns

The industry reacted positively. “Many companies in the cement industry are already in the starting blocks to get concrete decarbonization projects off the ground and have been waiting for a corresponding funding program for a long time,” says the German Cement Works Association.

The Union welcomes the project in principle, but demands that the selection criteria are not defined too narrowly. “If we want to achieve the energy and climate change in Germany, we have to take everyone with us,” said economic policy spokeswoman Julia Klöckner (CDU). The minister must not ignore small and medium-sized enterprises in particular.

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