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21 Jan 2019, 13:37
Benjamin Wehrmann

Energy transition to see winners and losers - philosopher of technology

Spiegel Online

The switch from fossil to renewable power sources will entail social changes that have been neglected for far too long, technology philosopher Armin Grunwald says in an interview with Spiegel Online. The Energiewende “puts established roles, rules and business models into question, demanding behavioural change and waving goodbye to old routines,” according to the professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). “If we change the energy system, we will also have to change ourselves,” he says, adding that this won’t happen by telling people how to behave in a top-down manner, but rather by convincing and “nudging” people to adapt to new circumstances. “Every disruption of this kind produces losers as well as winners,” he says, calling on policymakers to not disregard the concerns of those who fear being left behind by technological change.
Social acceptance of Germany’s Energiewende remains high, often with around 90 percent of citizens backing the transition. However, aspects such as the rapid expansion of onshore wind power and the economic prospects of coal-mining regions remain an ongoing source of controversy and uncertainty on a local level.

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