State KfW-Bank: How things will continue after the funding stop

Status: 02/01/2022 1:57 p.m

Apparently, anyone who has applied for state aid from the KfW for energy-efficient buildings by the end of January can now still hope for money. For the future, the development bank holds out the prospect of further programs.

When Stefan Wintels says that Germany is in the decade of decision, then those are pithy words. “The way in which we deal with climate change, digitization and our country’s ability to innovate,” said the Chairman of KfW Bankengruppe, “decides whether we will continue to fulfill our democracy’s promise of prosperity for the next generations.” The development bank wants to make a contribution to this.

Production stop as a damper

KfW’s funding volume last year was 107 billion euros. The sum had decreased because fewer funds had been called for Corona aid. At its digital annual press conference, the bank announced that demand remained high, especially in the areas of climate change and the environment.

A dampener was the freeze on funding for new construction projects in accordance with the KfW 55 standard at the end of the past month. The new Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) spoke of “really bitter news” in this context and at the same time announced improvements.

No investments without a promotional bank

The goals of the traffic light coalition are ambitious. Creating affordable living space, all of it climate-neutral – and with a state treasury burdened not least by the corona pandemic. That won’t work without KfW, believes the expert Alexander Kriwoluzky from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin.

Because of the debt brake, the federal government’s hands are tied for important investments. “KfW takes out loans on the capital market that are covered by Germany and could therefore finance and set a lot in motion,” says Kriwoluzky. The development bank will therefore remain an important partner in the future.

In the meantime, the idea had also been launched that the federal government could act as an investor itself. But Kriwoluzky doesn’t think much of it. “KfW has many years of experience in examining applications, especially with a view to profitability,” says the economist. The traffic light coalition cannot and should not do without this.

Found a temporary solution?

What can we now expect from KfW when it comes to construction – after the disaster of the funding freeze and the disappointments associated with it? In the future, the promotion must be geared even more towards the effect, says KfW boss Wintels somewhat vaguely. It is not yet time to talk about “lessons learned”.

In the background, there were many discussions with the responsible ministries, for example about hardship regulations. Now a solution is emerging: many builders should now apparently still get money for their energy-efficient houses. According to information from the news agency dpa The ministries involved have agreed that all applications submitted up to the funding stop on January 24th will still be processed according to the old criteria.

New rules in the works

Apart from that, the CEO prefers to look to the future anyway and talks about new programs that could soon be launched by the development bank. Wintels does not want to be specific about this and does not want to anticipate upcoming talks about it. He only lets on that much: From his point of view, a legally stipulated energy standard is necessary for the promotion of construction projects, and social housing will play a central role.

He is currently in Berlin one to one and a half days a week, says CEO Wintels: “For us it’s about maintaining our ability to deliver.” This also means that KfW wants to remain a reliable partner for the federal government, which is why the dialogue has recently been intensified again.

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