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Local value-added and employment created by renewable energy

Municipalities and regions: important players in the energy transition

Municipalities play an important role in the transition from fossil fuel-based systems to renewable energy (RE) systems. This is notably shown by trends such as ambitious expansion targets in 100%-renewable-energy municipalities and regions, and remunicipalisation trends in recent years. Besides climate protection, the value added by RE is an increasingly important motive for local stakeholders. Substituting imported fossil fuels and final energy with domestic and renewable energy sources, technologies and services can be economically profitable for municipalities and regions.

However, until recently the value-added effects of RE were subject to few scientific analyses and were difficult to quantify accurately. The IÖW then developed a model for calculating local value-added effects for the most relevant decentralized RE technologies.

The WeBEE Model – a brief outline

In the study “Local value added by RE”, published in 2010, the IÖW compiled a model to calculate the local value-added and employment effects of RE (WeBEEWertschöpfung und Beschäftigung durch Erneuerbare Energien) on behalf of the German Renewable Energy Agency (AEE e.V.) This model has been enhanced since then and applied in multiple regional studies, e.g. for the federal states of Brandenburg, Baden-Wurttemberg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The model calculates business profits, wages and salaries and municipal taxes and also employment effects for 24 value chains covering a wide range of RE technologies.

More references and publications

What can the model offer interested municipalities and regions?

  • The model is characterized by its great attention to detail and also by the fact that it can be adapted to the region being analysed.
  • The calculated economic effects can help local decision makers to aim for an environment-friendly supply with electricity and heat from renewable sources and to increase acceptance of RE technologies.
  • Municipalities and regions searching for a data set that is as complete as possible and results of economic effects can specifically use the information to establish local cluster management for the RE sector.
  • The results give insights into missing stages in the value chains and therefore provide a specific industrial settlement policy as well as strategies for training requirements for local businesses. The focus on technologies and services can help to outline transregional export strategies.

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