Easy Guide
Find your way around the energy transition

Germany's Energiewende – The Easy Guide

Germany is bidding farewell to nuclear energy, expanding renewable energy sources and working to make its economy virtually climate-neutral by mid-century. Researching and understanding the massive undertaking that is Germany’s Energiewende can be tough - especially if you’re not an expert in climate and energy policy. But Germany’s experience offers valuable insights and can serve as an example on how to wean a major economy off fossil fuels, even for countries with their own unique conditions and challenges. This guide is a first, easy introduction to the energy transition that is having major impacts throughout German society and beyond.

What is the Energiewende?

The energy transformation, in Germany widely known as the "Energiewende", is the country's planned transition to a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy. But there is much more to it than phasing out nuclear power and expanding renewable energies in the power sector.

The main stories

The energy transition is turning many parts of German society upside down. In this factsheet we highlight the main storylines of the generational project Energiewende as a starting point for further research.

Key stakeholders

Which groups are invested in, and impacted by, the German energy transition? Here we identify the key stakeholder groups, their positions and concerns.

Germany’s energy & power mix in charts

A wealth of numbers and statistics describe the energy generation and consumption of nation states. This factsheet provides a range of charts (and data links) on the status of Germany’s energy mix, as well as developments in energy and power production and usage since 1990.

Energiewende targets

This factsheet provides an overview of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and the government's Energiewende targets.

From ideas to laws

Ministerial bureaucracy, objection bills, informal agreements with interest groups, green and white papers – energy transition policy shaping in Germany’s parliamentary system is a complex process. This factsheet aims to give a brief overview of German law-making on energy and climate issues.

Key Energiewende publications

Reporting on Germany’s generational Energiewende can be challenging for even the most seasoned journalist. Government institutions, NGOs and researchers publish a myriad of studies, reports, data collections and analyses every year. This factsheet provides a chronological overview to help navigate the key recurring publications that provide a wealth of Energiewende data.

Timeline

In 2014, the Green Party’s Julia Verlinden asked the federal government for its definition of a starting date for the “Energiewende”. In his reply, state secretary Uwe Beckmeyer argued that the transition to an energy supply based mostly on renewables was a continuous process, because it was impossible to speak of any “concrete starting date”. The following timeline provides a short overview of key events developments, movements and documents, in history of that process.

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