Germany’s Energiewende: Redefining the Rules of the Energy Game
German energy policy is increasingly being influenced by a diverse and growing group of renewable energy supporters. They pursue a transition towards an energy system predominantly based on renewable energy. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, these actors became dominant in Germany’s energy policy arena. Consequently, the Energiewende, as the transition has been coined, has been taken up as a broad societal challenge, pursued by parties across the political spectrum and actively supported by a large part of the German public.
Germany’s nuclear sector has been the first victim of the recent developments, yet pressure is building up on the coal sector as well. Natural gas has so far remained below the radar, but its importance in the German electricity mix might actually increase in order to bridge the gap created by the nuclear phase-out.
The German renewables supporters will likely be able to continue to use their newfound clout to tilt their country’s energy playing field in their favour. However, in order to maintain the momentum of the energy transition it will be beneficial for them to involve other European partners in future.
by Rick Bosman /ECFR ©2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED THE AUTHOR(S) AND THE PUBLISHER
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