Saturday, March 8, 2014

The 3+1 Objectives of the Energiewende in Germany

The German Energiewende -- or Energy Transition -- has 3+1 key objectives:
1.     Phase out nuclear power, sooner rather than later, avoiding expropriation of assets that would result in an obligation to compensate owners;
2.     Phase out fossil energies to protect the climate, as soon as possible bearing 1) in mind, while meeting obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and EU burden-sharing; and
3.     Expand the use of renewable energies, as a solution for 1) and 2), and as a contribution to the economic and social well-being of Germany.
Since Chernobyl in 1986, the Energiewende has majority support across the political spectrum, and is favoured by public opinion generally as well as that of elites -- e.g. business, media, public administration.  There is broad cross-party consensus on the first three objectives, but some disagreement on the fourth: 
4.     Breaking the power of the incumbent "Big 4" utilities, which have for decades dominated energy policy-making and milked their customer, including the Mittelstand industry (SMEs), the innovation and employment backbone of the German economy.
For an overview of the economic and social benefits of the Energiewende see:

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