Making Germany’s “Energiewende” (Energy Transition) a Reality



Germany’s Energiewende represents a national commitment to meet aggressive economy-wide decarbonization targets and to transform the German power sector from a reliance on nuclear and coal to renewable resources within the next four decades. Germany is unique in the European Union in arriving at a consensus among ruling and opposition parties for a full nuclear phase-out by 2022. Renewable resources currently comprise 25% of the German power mix, and the Energiewende targets for increasing that share are unprecedented: at least 50% by 2030, 60% by 2040, and 80% by 2050. In addition, the German government established aggressive targets for improved energy efficiency during this transition: a 25% reduction in total power consumption by 2050 (relative to 2008), even with the expectation of a significant shift to electricity in the heat and transport sectors via heat pumps and electric vehicles. With long-term targets in place, the current focus in Germany is how to accomplish these ambitious Energiewende objectives.

Drawing on global experience and lessons learned, RAP provides policy and technical expertise on how to manage this energy transition reliably and affordably. RAP’s effectiveness is strengthened through cooperation with local expert organizations, including the European Climate Foundation’s Berlin Office and the Agora Energiewende team. For example, the “12 Insights on Germany’s Energiewende” briefing paper by the Agora team is an important document in Germany’s current energy debate, and the RAP Berlin team had a substantial role in framing it. It is also available in German under the title, “12 Thesen zur Energiewende.”

RAP is also developing a set of Country Profiles on the power sectors of Germany’s neighboring countries, focusing on key features, regulatory frameworks, and important political developments. The profiles will expand the understanding on how power systems and policies in Germany and in nearby Member States function and interact with the aim of identifying areas of cooperation relating to Germany’s Energiewende.

Links to RAP’s areas of focus in Germany are below. At the invitation of ministries, NGOs, German think tanks, industry associations, and consumer groups, RAP regularly advises key Energiewende stakeholders. More information about these activities is posted under our events page.

Other Energiewende topics of interest include: