The project aim was to provide an improved knowledge base to the sponsor (European Climate Foundation (ECF)), so as to plan activities in the field of the German energy transition ("Energiewende") more strategically. The study is based on the previous project "Climate Action of Civil Society in Germany":
How can civil society help shape and support the political and social process of energy transition in Germany? In this regard, we assessed the strengths and weaknesses of various stakeholders in order to be able to identify priority areas for funding. Building on this assessment, thematic challenges (e.g. development of renewable energies; energy systems; and energy and thermal efficiency) and structural challenges (e.g. distributional conflicts; growing complexity) have been analysed.
The study showed that the Energiewende is a transformational process that does (and must) include society as a whole. Beyond specialised environmental NGOs, social organisations and networks take up positions with direct links to climate policy. Thus, enhanced communication and cooperation between environmental and social NGOs will be necessary. Furthermore, traditional energy and climate stakeholders will increasingly have to deal with social questions of a "fair" transition process.
Key issues for further activities, identified in two stakeholder workshops, were the issue of financial ownership of the citizens in the Energiewende and specifically the role of energy cooperatives promoting renewable power production as well as, more generally, the creation of discussion fora to align civil society actors with social and environmental backgrounds.