Econonomics of Energy and Environmental Policy

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The German “Energiewende”—An Introduction

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The German government's multi-decade effort to transition to a low-carbon, renew-ables-based energy economy is now commonly known as "energiewende" ("energy transition"). The transition has four major objectives: increasing the share of renewables to at least 80% (in electricity) and 60% for total final energy consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% (basis: 1990), phasing out nuclear energy by 2022, and increasing energy efficiency significantly; the government also encourages broad public participation in energy policy discussions and profit sharing. This paper reviews the major events leading to the decision to go "energiewende" in 2010/11 and the ensuing developments in the electricity sector. We survey the rapidly growing body of literature on the German energiewende and place the other core papers of this Special Section of EEEP in perspective.
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JEL Codes:P28: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Natural Resources; Energy; Environment, Q48: Energy: Government Policy, D02: Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

Keywords: energiewende, low-carbon transformation, Germany, survey

DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.3.2.chir

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Published in Volume 3, Number 2 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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