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8 Energy Transition in Germany: Sonderweg or Role Model?

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Chapter Summary

The German energy transition is now in progress. In forty years, electricity generation which, for the most part, is currently based on fossil fuels such as coal and gas, will be almost entirely converted to renewable energy sources. Presently, the share of electricity produced from renewables is about 28 percent. Further, as part of the energy transition, a commitment has been made to phase out nuclear power early: the remaining nuclear reactors will be decommissioned by 2022. The energy transition is also focused on improving energy efficiency, both in the building energy sector and to achieve more sustainable mobility. The energy transition is designed to facilitate the development of a sustainable energy supply. There will be no blackouts, provided that sufficient funds are invested in improving energy efficiency, optimising the electricity grid management system, expanding the grid and storage capacity, and also in gas-fired reserve power plants during the transitional period. Only a slight increase in the price of electricity is anticipated since there are key factors exerting both a downward and an upward effect on prices. Although significant investment is required, this will, in turn, create added value and employment, however. Since Germany has sufficient plant, infrastructure, and power plant engineering as well as construction expertise, the German economy is in a better position than any other to profit from the energy transition, the boom in renewable energy, new power plants, improvements in energy efficiency, and sustainable urban development and mobility. The energy transition is expected to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and thus undoubtedly brings more economic opportunities than risks.

10.1163/9789004356825_010
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