Where to Now?

Germany Rethinks its Energy Transition

in German Politics and Society
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  • 1 Government, Georgetown University jkm97@georgetown.edu
  • 2 Government, Georgetown University gustaft@georgetown.edu
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Abstract

This article examines Germany’s efforts to transition to a less carbon intensive economy. It follows the origins of the ongoing Energiewende and the civil mentality that allowed Germany to become a leader in the transition to a cleaner future; while also critically analyzing the country’s capacity to in fact achieve those targets, looking closely at both the achievements and shortcomings of existing policies. To date, the focus has largely been on reforming electricity generation; however, as the Energiewende moves along focus must move beyond just sustainability to address other parts of energy policy including energy security and affordability. Beyond just generation attention must also move to sectors such as transportation and construction.

Contributor Notes

Thane Gustafson, Professor of Government at Georgetown University, is a widely recognized authority on Eurasia who has spent forty years studying and traveling in Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the Former Soviet Union. Recent books include Wheel of Fortune: the Battle for Oil and Power in Russia (Cambridge, 2012) and Fragile Bridge: Natural Gas in a Redivided Europe (Cambridge, forthcoming). Formerly a professor at Harvard University and a political analyst at the Rand Corporation, Dr. Gustafson holds a bs from the University of Illinois in political science and chemistry, and a PhD in government from Harvard University. Email: gustaft@georgetown.edu

Josephine Moore is a research associate focused on utilities and alternative energy; formerly working at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and ubs, she holds a Bachelors in International Politics and a Masters in Foreign Service, Business and Finance both from Georgetown University. Email: jkm97@georgetown.edu