I am pleased to have the opportunity to share “The German Energiewende: Informing Pennsylvania’s Clean Energy Policy,” the final paper culminating from my travel and research in Germany in the fall of 2015. This work was funded by the American Council on Germany, through a McCloy Fellowship in Environmental Policy. The report provides background on the German energiewende, or energy transition; records observations from interviews and site visits in Germany; and offers insight towards policy development in the United States and Pennsylvania, specifically.
Although much of my work explores challenges encountered in Germany, I have the utmost respect for the country’s efforts to completely transition to a sustainable energy system. As I write in the paper, “Any large scale transition takes time and encounters unexpected challenges. The hurdles encountered by Germany to date should not be taken as indicators that the energiewende will not be successful, but rather as bumps in the road on a very long journey.” I look forward to keeping in touch with some of my new German colleagues into the future to continue to share information and learn from one another.