News Digest Item
06 Mar 2018

Cultural changes brought about by Energiewende require debate – report

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Many people in Germany support the energy transition in principle but refuse to accept a wind turbine or other visual changes brought about by the Energiewende in their neighbourhood, Ralph Diermann writes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Is this a typical example of not-in-my-backyard egoism?” he asks. According to sociologist Matthias Groß, many Germans support the switch to renewable energy sources because they see it as a way “to end the exploitation of mother nature”, but paradoxically reject changes made to the environment when rolling-out renewables. Armin Grunwald, professor for the philosophy of technology, says: “We have dramatically underestimated the Energiewende’s complexity.” The decarbonisation of Germany’s energy sources does not mean “that we just replace the technology and everything else stays the same”, Grunwald argues. Diermann writes that the transformation of an energy system “challenges routines and lifestyles, requires adaptation and calls for participation”, which is why an honest debate about the consequences is needed.

Find the article in German here.

Find background in the CLEW factsheets Fighting windmills: when growth hits resistance and Polls reveal citizens’ support for Energiewende.

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