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December 2015: « Transition Policies » Series

Energy transition: A look at the German way

Vincent Boulanger, 6 November 2015

[English] [français]


In March 2015, many French regions experienced a pollution peak of fine particles. A rumor spreads on social media: what if this pollution came from the German coal-fired power plants? After all, it would only be logical: Germany decided to phase-out nuclear power, its coal-fired power plants must run 24/7… Yet, Germany launched many years ago an ambitious project: to reduce by 80% at least its green-house gas emissions for 2050 while phasing out nuclear power. This energy transition, or Energiewende, fuels fantasies in France. Some assert that the price of electricity is going through the roof and that Germany is on the edge of global black-out due to the renewable power “cuts”. Others affirm that each and every German household is capable of providing for its own power generation.

This book disentangles truth from falsehood. With this precise and factual study, Vincent Boulanger, a journalist specialized in renewable energies currently living in Germany, helps us to understand the Energiewende: its origins, successes, failures and grey areas. While France just adopted a new law on energy transition, he gives the reader the key elements to draw conclusions from the German experience.

Vincent Boulanger is a journalist specialized in environmental issues. Since 2011, he lives in Hamburg, Germany, and covers the energy transition for the French press (The Journal of Renewable Energies, Economic Alternatives, International Alternatives…).


Essay, a co-edition of Veblen Institute/Les Petits Matins

ISBN 978-2-36383-184-2

Release date: 2015, November 5th.

176 p., 14 euros

Order this book (available in French only): ou chez votre libraire.

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