A glance at a map reveals a simple truth: Geographically speaking, Germany lies in the heart of Europe. Knowing that annual electricity demand in Germany is the highest in Europe, its generation fleet the largest, and its power system interconnected with ten countries with a total transfer capacity of more than 20 GW, one may wonder how anyone could claim that the Energiewende is purely a national endeavour.
The opposite is true: German and European energy systems are heavily intertwined. Whatever happens in Germany has effects on its neighbours and vice versa. It is widely accepted that enhancing cooperation among European partners would create positive welfare effects for all. Sharing resources and developing joint regulatory frameworks could, for instance, help achieving system reliability at lower costs and balance variable power generation across Europe. As cooperation starts with mutual understanding, Agora Energiewende asked the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) to develop a set of short and readable reports on the power sectors of Germany’s neighbouring countries, focusing on key features, regulatory frameworks and important political developments. Originally, the country profiles were supposed to serve internal purposes only.
But, as we believe this information could be valuable for others as well, we decided to publish it and make it accessible to everyone. This country report on Germany is the third in our series. It reflects the status quo of late 2014. It is certainly not exhaustive. And we are well aware that things are changing very rapidly – especially in Germany in these days. Hence, we rather consider this report as work in progress that we will be reviewing on a regular basis.