The German energy transition repeatedly faces harsh critiques questioning its economic and environmental merits. This article defends the energy transition and argues that Germany has chosen an economically efficient and particularly forceful approach to securing a sustainable energy supply. Though current expenditures are high, the long-term benefits of transforming the energy system to a renewables-based system are likely to outweigh present investment costs. Furthermore, support policies for renewables are not redundant-as some critics claim-but instead complement other policy instruments, such as the emissions trading scheme. This article also addresses the motives behind the discrediting attacks on the German energy policy regime. Defensive actions by beneficiaries of the former energy market structure are only to be expected, but the attacks from liberal economists are astonishingly fierce.
Erik Gawel, Sebastian Strunz, and Paul Lehmann
The energy revolution poses a fundamental challenge to the German corporatist institutional model. The push for renewables in Germany arose almost entirely outside the prevailing channels of institutional power. Eventually, federal legislation helped support the boom in local energy production that was already underway, and it encouraged the further development of new forms of community investment and citizen participation in energy supply. Recently, the federal government has tried to put the genie back in the bottle by shifting support to large energy producers. But, as this article shows, the energy transition has provided a base for local power that cannot easily be assailed. The debate over German energy policy is becoming a contest between centralized and decentralized models of political and economic power. Prevailing institutionalist theories have difficulty accounting for these developments. I analyze the local development of renewable energy by means of a case study of the Freiburg area in southwestern Germany, which has evolved from a planned nuclear power and fossil fuel center to Germany's “solar region”. Incorporating insights from ecological modernization theory, I show how the locally based push for renewables has grown into a challenge to the direction of German democracy itself.
A case study of Costa Rican hydropower
Denielle M. Perry and Kate A. Berry
, while the Río San Carlos has 29 hydropower facilities ( Arias, 2014 ; Duran, 2009 ). Initially, each cogenerating facility capacity was set at 20 MW and supply to ICE was limited to 15% of the state’s energy supply. Permits were to last up to 15 years
The Energiewende, a German Success Story?
nuclear energy by 2022, and increase energy efficiency by 1.6 percent per year. At the same time, security of energy supply, affordability of energy, and the market economy should be maintained. Based on these parameters, Unnerstall devotes the six
Fuelling Capture: Africa's Energy Frontiers
Michael Degani, Brenda Chalfin, and Jamie Cross
centralized authority where new sorts of sociopolitical arrangements and accumulations are ventured ( Chalfin 2010 , 2017 ; Nyerges 1992 ; Kopytoff 2006 ). Today, the emergence of new forms of energy supply and demand are raising similar possibilities
Energy, Gender and Labour on an Electric Frontier
Kristin D. Phillips
primary energy supply). Electricity, introduced selectively in the British colony of Tanganyika in 1908, remained until about ten years ago restricted to a national grid that reached less than a fifth of the population. With the national grid's limited
The Economics of German Natural Gas Imports from Russia, 1982 and 2014 Compared
Stephen G. Gross
relative economic malaise in Europe, exacerbating the imperative to keep the continent’s energy supply affordable. Yet during the 1980s, West Germany split with the United States and refused to impose critical sanctions on Russia, while in 2014 Germany
Marco Sonnberger and Michael Ruddat
neighborhood because of high perceived benefits? If so, why and under which circumstances? Acknowledgments The survey was part of the interdisciplinary research project “Complementary Usage of Various Energy Supply Concepts as an Engine of Social Acceptance and
Making Relations Matter
been done in the Amazon before—which is why he was so excited. Mark was therefore willing to overcome all sorts of obstacles in order to collect this data. Alongside trying to ensure that a clean energy supply reached his highly sensitive instrument
The Theopolitics of Water and Life in Chilean Patagonia without Dams
electricity. HidroAysén stepped into this breach, promising to rescue the economy by investing billions of dollars to augment Chile's energy supply by one-third by mobilizing its water rights. An extensive public relations campaign, featuring images of lights