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52. The German "Energiewende": Mission Accomplished… but at what cost? And what’s next? - Redefining Energy podcast

image credit: Credit: Redefining Energy
Laurent Segalen's picture
CEO Megawatt-X

Laurent is a Franco-British financier, founder of Megawatt-X, the London-based global platform for Renewable Energy Assets. For the past twenty years, Laurent has been trading and managing...

  • Member since 2019
  • 174 items added with 153,283 views
  • Jun 15, 2021

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Germany is rightly portrayed as a pioneer in the development of wind and solar. For the past two decades, the German government has granted a) a very stable framework b) very generous terms to renewables. And the “Energiewende” (the Energy Transition) as this policy is named, has delivered exceptional results, as the share of renewables has jumped from 6% to 50% of the electricity mix.

But the cost to consumers has been significant. German Energy policy is very political and there is a lot of money flowing around without much consideration for economic realities.

As the German Green party is expected to become an ever-dominant political actor, especially in view of the Autumn 2021 elections, we wanted to have a conversation with one of its most prominent inspirers: Patrick Graichen, who – after a long career in the German Ministry of Energy and Environment – leads the Agora Energiewende think tank.  

Where is the Energiewende today? What lessons can we learn from the past? How would a green-inspired Energy Transition continue to evolve both for Germany and Europe? Patrick delivers a unique insight into the future of the Energiewende.

Thank you to our partner Aquila Capital



Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 15, 2021

As the German Green party is expected to become an ever-dominant political actor, especially in view of the Autumn 2021 elections

I look forward to the time when the climate-focused politicians in the U.S. can become a dominant force, rather than sub-sector of one party that is leveraged when convenient and compromised as soon as it gets tough

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jun 15, 2021

A rare perspective it is that would consider Germany's Energiewende "Mission Accomplished" - unless its mission was:

  1. To miss its 2020 emissions goal by 8%, were it not for a global pandemic;
  2. To have the most expensive electricity of any non-island nation in the world;
  3. To be importing 55 billion additional cubic meters of gas from Russia in 2021, via the Nordstream 2 pipeline
  4. To consider chopping down and burning 2.7 million tons of old-growth trees/yr a "renewable" source of energy
  5. To be emitting twice as much per-capita CO2 as its nuclear neighbor, France
  6. To be responsible for 1,100 more deaths/yr by by replacing clean nuclear generation with coal-fired electricity


You write that we should consider these "exceptional results". What would you consider a less-exceptional one?

Laurent Segalen's picture
Thank Laurent for the Post!
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