Lots of countries are beginning to make the transition to incorporate renewables into their energy mix. But Germany may be the only one where the switch to renewables is a switch to energy democracy. The Energiewende enabled communities to invest massively in local wind farms, biogas and solar. Big German utilities made up only a tiny share of investments in renewables. So how did the Germans get their government to pass laws that empowered citizens? What role can citizens play in the decarbonization of the energy sector? Can it happen in the United States?
Arne Jungjohann will address these questions and provide insights on the Energiewende’s history – from the Power Rebels of Schönau to Angela Merkel’s decision to shut down nuclear power for good after Fukushima. He will explain why the transition to renewables is a one-time opportunity to strengthen communities, democratize the energy sector and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. The presentation will be followed by a lively panel discussion with representation from the business and citizen energy perspectives.
Organized by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Goethe-Institut Boston.
Welcome: Helmut Landes, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany