Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in Create Account

Energiewende: German Angst or Bold Step Ahead?

Joschka Fischer
Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1998-2005

Germany is a highly industrialized country and with its recent decision to eliminate nuclear energy, it has the potential to become a model for how a carbon-free economy without nuclear power can prosper. However, the political environment in Germany means it has passed a “point of no return” – nuclear energy will be completely phased out in 2022 while Germany vows to continue to honor its greenhouse gas emissions reductions commitment. For Germany, there is no way back to the energy sources of the 20th Century.

Today, the country faces uncertainty regarding how exactly it will meet its energy needs while facing self-imposed nuclear and emissions constraints. But by creating a “sink or swim” situation, Germany will be forced to innovate and lead. In doing so, Germany seeks to create a huge opportunity for companies and technologies that will help it to master this ambitious energy transformation, or “Energiewende”. A regulatory environment that favours cleaner energy sources, advanced storage solutions, better grid structure and management, and improved energy efficiency has the potential to develop into a uniquely innovative marketplace for companies around the world that lead in cutting edge green and clean technologies. A new chapter in German-American cooperation may unlock potential for developing the products of tomorrow and help demonstrate how growth can be uncoupled from emissions without relying on nuclear energy.

Comments (0)

It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!

You need to log in, in order to post comments. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up now!

MIT Energy Initiative

MIT Energy Initiative

Category: Environment/Energy | Updated 8 days ago

December 02, 2011 12:00
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files

5348 times

More from MIT Energy Initiative

International Energy Outlook 2011

International Energy Outlook 2011

Added almost 4 years ago | 01:14:00 | 4369 views

High-Performance Rechargeable Batteries for Sustainable Transportation and Large-scale Storage of Electric Power

High-Performance Rechargeable Batte...

Added over 5 years ago | 01:02:11 | 22922 views

Robert Solow - The State of the Economy & Some Implications for the Energy Industry

Robert Solow - The State of the Eco...

Added almost 4 years ago | 01:06:00 | 6687 views

Designing Chemically Robust Metal Oxides for Visible-Light Photocatalysis: toward Solar Z-Scheme Water Splitting

Designing Chemically Robust Metal O...

Added over 2 years ago | 01:09:33 | 3528 views

Unexpected changes in the US energy system - a political economy perspective

Unexpected changes in the US energy...

Added almost 2 years ago | 00:58:21 | 827 views

Presidential Campaigns Debate Energy

Presidential Campaigns Debate Energy

Added 7 years ago | 01:27:00 | 16898 views