The Energiewende – A Success Story at a Crossroads


As Germany takes on a greater global leadership role, policymakers in Washington, Brussels and beyond need to better understand Berlin’s policy decisions. With Newpolitik, the Bertelsmann Foundation North-America is offering a guidebook for anyone seeking insight on Germany’s important and changing role in the European Union and the world. This piece addresses the German energy transition and draws three central lessons. Continue Reading

The Green Party in Germany’s state governments

© Harry Weber/ (CC BY 3.0)

Over the last decade, the German Green Party continuously entered into coalition governments across Germany’s states. To date, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (Alliance 90/The Greens) govern in ten of the sixteen German states in a number of different coalitions with one or two other parties. In Baden-Württemberg, one of the bigger and traditionally more conservative states, the Green Party even managed to become the strongest power in the 2016 elections, thus appointing the first (and until now only) green minister-president, who is already in his second term. Continue Reading

Germany overhauls its flagship energy policy

The Krughütte Solar Park is a 29.1-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station in Eisleben, Germany. (Image by Parabel GmbH)

Germany promises more renewables but big utilities grab more control. Driven by a long-term renewable energy policy that dates back decades and, more recently, a nuclear power phase-out, the country is spearheading a transition to renewables commonly known as the Energiewende (“energy transition”).

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The global energy revolution

Joe Brusky_CC BY NC

The transition to a low-carbon energy system can only succeed if we switch to renewable energy and energy efficiency while parting from fossil fuels. Already, the global share of renewable energy in electricity production has increased sharply. Nevertheless, many new coal power plants, anticipated to run for many decades, were connected to the grid in recent years. How do these divergent trends add up? Continue Reading