Challenges of the German Energy Turnaround By European Multi-Level Governance

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Carnegie Room (University of Glasgow)
Stefan Wurster , Bavarian School of Public Policy Technical University of Munich, Bavarian School of Public Policy Technical University of Munich
Transformation of national energy systems is one of the greatest political, social and technical tasks of our time. Labeled as energy turnaround (Energiewende), the Federal Government of Germany launched a new energy policy in 2011, with the aim of establishing a sustainable energy system by 2050. In order to achieve this goal, apart from phasing out nuclear energy, greenhouse gas emissions should be drastically reduced and the energy supply should be converted to renewable energies. However, this energy turnaround takes place under specific institutional conditions. Traditionally, German energy policy is integrated into a complex multi-level system, including the national as well as the European level. Developments in Germany, as the largest European energy market, do not only have an impact on neighboring energy markets of other European countries, but are also influenced in many ways by the European level. The success of the German energy turnaround depends crucially on whether conflicts at the European level with regard to means of competencies, reform orientation and pan-European embedment can be achieved. However, the European level also opens additional options for the federal government. The paper tries to analyze to what extent the embedding of the German energy turnaround into the European multi-level system facilitates or inhibits its further development. In doing so the role of institutional and actor-specific factors at European level and their interaction with national determinants for different aspects of the German energy sector (promotion of renewable energies, nuclear phasing out, expansion of energy networks) are analyzed and evaluated.
  • Challenges of the German energy turnaround final.pdf (380.8 kB)