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Can the German Energy turn around serve as Example for 'The Future We Want'?

WECF reports about the nuclear phase out and German energy turn around in conferences in Georgia and Kazakhstan

05.10.2012 |

WECF was invited to present the challenges in Germany regarding nuclear phase out and energy turn around. Organized and invited by the “Greens Movement of Georgia” an international conference took place on September 25th in Tbilisi, Georgia about “Promotion of use of renewable energy sources and introduction of energy-efficient technologies in Georgia”.

On October 4th  Ecoforum NGO RK  organized a round table to discuss in Astana, Kazakhstan about  "ONE YEAR AFTER FUKUSHIMA: PRESENT CHALLENGES”.

The presentations by WECF were done via skype by Sabine Bock (director WECF Germany) and Katharina Habersbrunner (Sustainable Energy Manager).

Germany’s energy turnover is underway. Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, the centre-right coalition under German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to embark on a sustainable energy turnaround with the long term aim of switching off all of the country’s 17 nuclear reactors by the year 2022. The nuclear phase out isn’t yet the energy turnaround but is a crucial milestone towards a low-risk, economic and free of carbon dioxid energy supply.

The main issues facing with a successful reorientation of the energy policy will be:
  • Rebuilding from fossil fuel and nuclear power to renewable energy
  • Construction and upgrading of the electricity grid
  • Increase of energy efficiency and a national and European energy efficiency directive
Going this way shows that even an extremely high industrialized country like Germany is able to exit from risk technologies like coal and nuclear power.
But it is not only an issue for the politics. New business models will be necessary to cope with the “big transformation”, from central energy supply to more  decentralized models with high public participation. The behavior and attitude of electricity and heat have also be changed by each citizen. I.e. the energy turnaround is not only a technological thing with new legislative initiatives, but needs the social acceptance and cooperation of a broad citizenship, politics, economy and municipality.
The role of the citizens is crucial. Renewable energies enjoy high acceptance levels in German public opinion and we see a new ownership structure. The expansion of the renewable energy sector is accompanied by a shift in the ownership structure of electricity production. More than half of all renewable energy capacity so far installed in Germany is in the hands of private individuals.

Considering the success of the renewable energy so far in Germany,
the majority is convinced that the “Big Transformation” is possible to an energy future, which is free of nuclear power and carbon dioxide. There are various ways of a successful energy turnaround. Crucial elements seem to be decentralized energy supply, renewable energy, European climate and energy policy, energy efficiency policy, acceptance of the population and public participation. Yes, we can, Germany is getting there!

Please find here the presentations and the agendas of the conference and the round table and do not hesitate to contact sabine.bock@wecf.eu or katharina.habersbrunner@wecf.eu if you have further questions.

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