Energy  |  Publications  |  04.02.2013

German Energy transition: arguments for a renewable energy future

The Heinrich Boell Foundation  have launched the "German Energy Transition“ website in order to explain what does energy transition mean, how it works and what challenges lay ahead.

Germany has drawn a lot of international attention for its aim to switch to a renewable energy economy and leave nuclear and fossil energy behind. A lot of the international reporting about the German Energy Transition, or Energiewende, has, however, been misleading – for instance, when it comes to the role of coal power, energy price trends, and carbon emissions.

The website created by the Heinrich Boll Foundation aims to explain what the German Energy Transition is, how it works, and what challenges lay ahead. It is intended to provide facts and explain the politics and policies to an international audience. The website highlights the effects of the German Energy Transition on the German economy, environment and society and addresses the most important questions.

The creators of the website welcome feedback from the public and encourage commenting and discussing the German Energy transition. In addition in the first half of 2013, they plan to add a blog to this website, where a team of international energy experts will write on how the German energy transition continues and how it relates to other countries.

All the texts and graphs of the website are under Creative Commons License with the aim to make the information provided available to the public.

The website is divided and discusses the following main topics: 

  • Why the Germany Energy transition?  In order to fight climate change; reduce energy imports; stimulate technology innovation and the green economy; reduce and eliminate the risks of nuclear power; energy security and strengthen local economies; and provide social justice
  • Technology as a key issue: Germany has resolved to replace fossil and nuclear energy with renewables – but the process is more complicated than that. Most of all, it involves lower energy consumption through efficiency and conservation and requires that energy consumption be tailored to availability.
  • Policies for clean energy: Germany has implemented a number of laws and programs for its energy transition, and there are also some at the level of the EU. The most important ones are listed in the website.
  • History of the Energiewende: It is rooted in the anti-nuclear movement of the 70s and brings together both conservatives and conservationists — from environmentalists to the church.
  • International perspectives: By going renewable, Germany has created more than 380,000 new jobs, built up the world’s leading green technology sector, and has reduced its dependency on fossil fuel imports. But how is the German energy transition perceived internationally?
  • Questions & Answers; This section tries to answer the most frequent questions about the Energiewende.   
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