What's an Energiewende?


The German word sums up a renewable energy juggernaut, systematically breaking through estimates for the role of renewables time and time again. It's a modernization of the energy system. It's driven by citizens and communities. It strengthens the economy. And it builds a futuristic industrial base.

It's the German Energy Transition.

The Heinrich Boell Foundation is behind a new publication and website dedicated to telling the story of Germany's Energiewende. It sets out to bust myths and demonstrate how other places can start the ball rolling with their own Energy Transition.

The key is that the transition is ambitious, but feasible. Germany's two decades of experience leading renewable energy development has shown that the technology has consistently developed faster than predicted by even the most ambitious forecast.

"The share of renewable electricity rose from 6% to 25% in only ten years."

German Energy Transition

Leadership in R&D and policy really has created the biggest domestic market for solar PV in the world and has led to world-class manufacturing and expertise that is now clamoured for. Skeptics try to harpoon evidence of job growth, but really it's quite clear. Renewable energy creates more jobs than conventional energy does.

See the chart for yourself.

But it's not just about building an economy with a future.

One of the kingpin goals of the Energiewende is to decarbonize the energy system and the economy to fight climate change. It's working.

The Energy Transition is here to stay in Germany. The country has committed to phasing out nuclear power and is actively working to the goal of 80% renewables by 2050. The energy system of the future.

We have a lot to learn from this transition, but one of the most important lessons is that if it's affordable in Germany, it's affordable in Canada. Solar PV costs have plummeted 66% from 2006 to 2012 and Canada has significantly sunnier spots than Germany. Wind is already competitive with new electricity infrastructure. With commitment to ambitious Feed-in Tariff policies for renewable electricity, we can create our own renewables juggernaut.

Canada must transition to an energy system with a future too.

Find out more at the German Energy Transition website: http://energytransition.de/

This blog written by Laura Tozer originally appeared on the Community Power Fund blog.