Reclaiming Germany's Model Role in Energy Policy

Policy paper on an approach for shaping the transition to a new energy system

  • News 12.11.2021

Industrialised nations face enormous challenges to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 80 to 95 per cent by 2050 at the latest, stresses the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This results from the basic prerequisite to have a virtually carbon-free power generation by that time. For a long time, Germany took a pioneering role in the expansion of renewable energies, which was primarily due to the progressive feed-in tariff regulation. In recent years, however, it has been observed that the energy transition in Germany has lost its original momentum.

In their policy paper "Presentation of the 5Ds in Energy Policy: A Policy Paper to Show How Germany Can Regain Its Role as a Pioneer in Energy Policy," Oliver Wagner and Thomas Götz, both Co-Heads of the Research Unit Energy Policy at the Wuppertal Institute, address the question of how the transition process towards a new energy system can be initiated with innovative concepts. To this end, they developed the "5D approach", which lays a foundation for process analysis and the identification of important catalysts and barriers in the context of the energy transition. To do this, the scientists analysed the following 5D fields in detail to address key questions of the energy transition:

  • Decarbonisation: How can efficiency and renewable energies be successfully expanded?
  • Digitalisation: Which digital solutions facilitate this transition and are suitable as sustainable business models?
  • Decentralisation: How can decentralised energy and efficiency potentials be tapped?
  • Democratisation: How can participation be strengthened to promote acceptance (and to prevent "yellow vests" protests, etc.)?
  • Diversification of services: Which services can make significant contributions in the context of flexible power generation, demand-side management, storage, and grids?

The two scientists conclude that the energy transition efforts in Germany have not been ambitious enough to date. They emphasise that, particularly in the area of democratisation, the opportunities for participation by different social actors must be strengthened further. In addition, in order to regain momentum in the energy transition, viable new market models are needed to facilitate the "5Ds" through economic incentives.

The open access policy paper is available free of charge via the following link.

Cookie Settings

Cookies help us to constantly improve the website for you. By clicking on the "Allow cookies" button, you agree to the use of cookies. For further information on the use of cookies or to change your settings, please click on More about the use and rejection of cookies.