In recent years, policies to promote renewable energy have become increasingly popular among municipalities in different parts of the world. This article examines the case of Germany. It argues that municipalities, compared to other state and private actors, already have the potential to play a key role in German renewable energy governance. Although both private actors and the European Union have gained importance in the past 20 years, German municipalities still play a crucial role and can apply five distinct and important modes of governance in the field of renewable energy policy. In this regard, the notion of a general development towards a "cooperating and ensuring state", which increasingly delegates its tasks and thus becomes less important, cannot be confirmed in the field of municipal renewable energy governance in Germany.
Municipalities as Key Actors of German Renewable Energy Governance
An Analysis of Opportunities, Obstacles, and Multi-Level Influences
Wuppertal Paper no. 186 (January 2013)