Since the mid-2000s most of the licensing agreements for local electricity distribution grids have expired in Germany. This enabled many local authorities to re-municipalise their previously privately-owned electricity distribution grids.
Against the background of the energy transition and the associated restructuring of the German energy landscape towards decentralised supply structures, municipal authorities have thus been given the opportunity to actively participate in implementing German government's energy policy goals on local level.
An exploratory study carried out in 2013 by the Wuppertal Institut recorded numerous municipal utility start-ups from 2005 up to 2016, which indicated a trend towards re-municipalisation in the area of energy supply. In addition, institutions such as the Deutsche Institut für Urbanistik (Difu) and the Verband kommunaler Unternehmen e.V. (VKU) have been trying for years to provide an overview of the development of re-municipalisation. Nevertheless, no nationwide survey on re-municipalisation has been presented so far.
Therefore, this paper aims at providing a survey on the re-municipalisation of licenses for electricity distribution networks in the North Rhine-Westphalian study area between 2005 and 2016. During this period a total of 119 re-municipalisations was found there. As a result two thirds of all North Rhine-Westphalian licenses for electricity distribution networks were already in municipal ownership by the end of 2016, clearly confirming the trend towards re-municipalisation.
Die kommunale Gestaltungsaufgabe einer nachhaltigen Energiewende
Untersuchung der Konzessionsvergaben für örtliche Strom-Verteilnetze im Zeitraum 2005-2016 am Beispiel von NRW
Wuppertal 2018, ISBN 978-3-946356-07-3
(Wuppertaler Studienarbeiten zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung no. 14)