The half-way stage in Germany’s “energy turnaround” Download as PDF
Issue September 2015

The half-way stage in Germany’s “energy turnaround”

Editorial


The energy turnaround: half-time, complete success?

Editorial by Michael Sailer, CEO, Oeko-Institut

With the publication of the book Energiewende – Wachstum und Wohlstand ohne Erdöl und Uran in 1980, the Oeko-Institut presented, for the first time, comprehensive scenarios for an alternative energy future. Florentin Krause, Hartmut Bossel and Karl-Friedrich Müller-Reissmann described how growth can be decoupled from the consumption of electricity and other fuels, and identified energy efficiency as the key to long-term reductions in energy demand. This ground-breaking study on energy system transformation – the first of its kind – provoked sometimes highly emotional debates. Since the Oeko-Institut opened its office in Darmstadt in 1980, much of my own work has focused on nuclear power plant safety. My colleagues and I have repeatedly pointed out the weaknesses and potential risks associated with this technology. In the past 35 years, a great many stakeholders have made their...

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The energy turnaround: half-time, complete success?

In Focus


35 years on …

The half-way stage in Germany’s “energy turnaround”: where are we now?

With the publication of the book Energiewende – Wachstum und Wohlstand ohne Erdöl und Uran in 1980, Oeko-Institut scientists sent a clear message: energy system transformation is within reach. Since then, a great deal has happened in Germany’s energy turnaround. Climate change has entered social and political consciousness – and requires wide-scale decarbonisation by 2050. The nuclear phase-out was agreed and then delayed, and will now be implemented by 2022. Renewable energies... more

35 years on …

And 35 years to go ...

What needs to be done to make the “energy turnaround“ a reality?

Germany has set itself clear targets for the coming years and decades: a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared with the 1990 baseline, with further goals set for 2030 (55 per cent), 2040 (70 per cent) and 2050 (80-95 per cent). There are 35 years left to make energy system transformation a reality. Its success will depend on implementation of the agreed measures, the adoption of new policy instruments, and continuous monitoring of progress. Every two... more

And 35 years to go ...

A game of two halves?

Guest article by Dieter Seifried

I am proud to say that I myself had a hand in pioneering energy system transformation at the Oeko-Institut in the early days. Together with three of my colleagues, I was involved – until 1985 – in drafting the Institute’s strategy on recommunalisation of the energy supply, which offered analyses and made recommendations on removing the obstacles to implementation of the blueprint for an energy turnaround, published by the Oeko-Institut in 1980. A key priority was to abolish... more

A game of two halves?

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