The German Energiewende cannot serve as a model for other countries. It is a threat to European security of supply, will have a negative impact on German growth prospects in the short term and is too costly. That’s the opinion of a majority of experts from 35 member organisations of the World Energy Council from across the world.
The Energiewende is not a great export product, at least according to the German committee of the World Energy Council (WEC). The “Weltenergierat Deutschland” conducted a survey among the Chairmen of the more than 90 member national Member Committees of WEC. 35 Chairmen responded, including 20 from European countries and 15 from countries outside of Europe. Only a third of the respondents said they believe the Energiewende can serve as “a global energy policy blueprint”. Almost half of the respondents reject the proposal of the Energiewende completely.
The World Energy Council, founded in 1923, is a global network which calls itself “the world’s principal network of energy leaders and practitioners” and may be said to represent mainstream opinion in the energy sector. The German WEC Committee notes that “the world has a sobering perspective on the German Energiewende”. In the international perpection, “the Energiewende will only be partly realised and with delays”, notes Dr Uwe Franke, president of the Weltenergierat Deutschland. “For many countries, the German model is too expensive.”
The survey found that the Energiewende is closely observed throughout the world and has triggered many national debates on energy policy. But none of the 35 respondents believed the concept could be fully copied in their countries. Half of them believed parts could be copied, the other half even believed no part of the Energiewende could serve as a model for them. They were especially negative on the phaseout of nuclear power stations. The expansion of renewable energy and higher energy efficiency were regarded more positively.
European respondents are more positive about the Energiewende than non-European ones. While two-thirds of the European respondents could imagine implementing certain aspects of the German energy policy, two thirds of respondents outside Europe completely reject the model. Interestingly, a reduction of primary energy demand by 2050, an essential feature of the Energiewende, is regarded as impossible by respondents outside of Europe.
Fully three-quarters of the respondents consider the Energiewende a threat to European security of energy supply. For European respondents, this figure was 80%. The Europeans were also sceptical about the results of the Energiewende. Almost two thirds doubt that Germany will reach its CO2 reduction target of 40% in 2020. Most also expect a negative short-term impact on the German economy, although more than half believed the economy would be strengthened by the Energiewende in the long term.
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