Heffa Schucking on Deutsche Bank and Green Investments

December 18, 2013

A new report from Lux Research projects that solar energy may become as competitive as natural gas by 2025.

Deutsche Bank also released a report concluding that solar power will become competitive in the energy market, even without government subsidies, by the end of next year.

1994 Goldman Prize winner Heffa Schucking lives in Germany and has worked for many years urging Deutsche Bank to green its investment policies, specifically regarding energy projects.

Below, she weighs in on how the solar report might affect Deutsche Bank’s investments:

“Unfortunately, when it comes to business, Deutsche Bank does not follow the advice of its research analysts. We’ve just published a new study “Banking on Coal,” which shows that Deutsche Bank is the world’s 5th largest financier of coal mines. Deutsche Bank is, in fact, also one of perhaps a dozen banks that also plays an important role in physical coal trading and was thus designated as “Coal House of the Year” in 2013 by the industry.

While all large commercial banks have, of course, also increased their renewables finance over the past few years, our study finds that this pales in comparison to their finance for the coal sector, which has grown by almost 400% since 2005, the year the Kyoto Protocol came into force.

Ironically, analysts from these very same banks (Deutsche Bank, Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, etc.) have all issued reports warning against further investments into coal. In our experience, there is, however, a general disconnect between banks’ research departments and their business departments.”

So, while the reports might not indicate a huge shift toward green investments just yet, it does signal a rosy outlook for the future of renewable energy, and that is a step in the right direction.