News Digest Item
18 May 2017

“Municipal utilities: winners or losers of the Energiewende?”

Friedrich Ebert Foundation

The changes brought about in Germany’s energy supply structure by the Energiewende pose a great threat to the country’s municipal utilities, Thomas Brucker writes in a study for the SPD-associated Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES). Regional energy suppliers, which employ nearly 100,000 people and cater to some 36 million customers in Germany, are currently in crisis due to the low profitability of their gas-fired power plants, high investment costs for distribution grids and contracting revenues caused by the tendency to self-supply by German energy consumers, Brucker writes. He argues the municipal utilities’ plight could be mitigated by “putting a (minimum) price on greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors,” removing barriers to improved energy efficiency and investing in innovative technologies for emissions reduction.

Find the study in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet Small, but powerful – Germany’s municipal utilities for background.

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