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Challenges of Multi-Level Governance for the German energy transition ("Energiewende")

Conference on November 3rd and 4th in Berlin

Germany is striving to achieve a wide-ranging transition of its energy supply system towards a system with a high share of renewable energy. However, there is no master plan for the energy transition („Energiewende“). It takes place between the conflicting priorities of decentralizing initiatives on the one hand and the need for a centralized coordination on the other hand. Municipalities, regions and provinces all have their own specific objectives; they are developing distributive renewable electricity generation and supply structures with remarkable momentum. But decentralized initiatives do not always have a system-wide optimization in mind. The responsibility to ensure an alignment of sub-national innovations with the functional requirements of the overall transformation process is seen to be with the federal government. In addition, the energy and climate policies of the EU and its member states influence each other reciprocally. Thereby, decisions that are relevant for the Energiewende are made on several levels, each of which has different perspectives, goals and competencies. Due to the political, economic and infrastructural interconnections of these levels, there is an enormous demand for the coordination of goals, instruments and measures.

The conference will focus on current questions of chances, challenges and mechanisms of multi-level governance in the Energiewende. It is organized by the Environmental Policy Research Centre of the Free University of Berlin as part of the Helmholtz-Alliance “ENERGY-TRANS”. Main target group of this conference are decision makers and scientists.

The conference will take place on November 3rd and 4th, 2014, in the event venue "Kalkscheune" in Berlin. Topics discussed on the first day include:

  • challenges of multi-level governance in the German Energiewende,
  • conflicts between the states of Germany (Bundesländer) interests and systemic challenges,
  • the Energiewende as a citizens project or as a project of industry,
  • the degree of decentralization needed for the Energiewende.

The second day will be about the European dimension of the German energy transition. Topics discussed on the second day include:

  • unilateral national actions as a threat for a cost-efficient European energy transition or as a chance for the European energy transition,
  • pragmatic national adaptation or a European leadership-strategy ,
  • Perspectives of German neighbors and co-operative approaches for a European Energy transition.

On the first day the conference will be held in German, on the second day the conference will be held in English.