Germany’s Energiewende – where we really stand
In March 2017, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy published a brochure announcing that the Energiewende, its renewable energy revolution, was ‘a success story’.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Energiewende has the goal of making Germany independent of fossil fuels in the long term. Coal, oil and gas were to be phased out, allowing drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. However, these goals have not even begun to be achieved.
The Energiewende was only driven forward in the electricity sector, which, accounts for only one-fifth of energy consumption. There were hardly any successes in the heating/cooling and transport sectors.
And so carbon dioxide emissions in Germany have been rising since 2009, even though well over a hundred billion euros have been spent on the expansion of solar and wind energy over the same period. The financial obligations undertaken in the process will continue to burden taxpayers for another two decades and will end up costing German consumers a total sum of around 550 billion euros.
Despite this enormous effort, security of supply is increasingly under threat. At the same time, people and the biosphere are suffering; wildlife protection has become subordinated to climate mitigation, even though the possibility of achieving the goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions is becoming increasingly distant and the measures for the energy transition seem to become more and more questionable from a constitutional point of view.
In this review we would like to inform a public debate and set out a reasonable course for energy policy in Germany.