Reflections on the Energiewende 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, the holidays provide the opportunity to look back on the year and thank you for your continued interest in our work. Rebecca Bertram summarizes the discussions and changes for the Energiewende in 2014.


2014 has marked important achievements for the Energiewende, which also faced new challenges this year.

It has been a turbulent year for the Energiewende. From challenges, such as the retail power price discussions and Germany’s coal conundrum, to the recent reforms of Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the Energiewende currently finds itself in a phase of further optimization. And more needs to be done to achieve greater energy efficiency. Calls for a smarter electricity infrastructure, the need for more flexible and clean backup power, and the transformation of the German energy transition into a European one will drive the discussions in 2015.

But 2014 has also marked some important Energiewende achievements. Electricity prices for industry continued to fall and saw their lowest level in 2014, and with 28 percent renewable energies in the power sector, Germany’s grid is now more stable than ever. Other important technological breakthroughs were also achieved: the small Bavarian town of Wildpoldsried became an important testing ground for smart grid technologies, and the world’s longest superconductor was put into operation in the West German town of Essen, to name a few.

This year we also began focusing more on what other countries are doing to push their energy transitions at home. For example, we looked at Italy’s success story, coal wars in Poland, and asked how realistic an energy transition is in Russia. We compared the municipalization efforts in Boulder and Hamburg, we asked how the BRICS countries view the Energiewende, and what France could learn from Germany and the UK.

We look forward to staying engaged with you with more exciting energy transition stories to come in 2015.

With best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year,

Rebecca Bertram, Alexander Franke and Craig Morris


Rebecca Bertram works as a freelancer and consultant on energy and climate issues in Guatemala. She used to work for the Heinrich Böll Foundation both as the Director for the Energy and Environment program in the Washington D.C. office and as the Senior Policy Advisor for European Energy Policy at the Foundation's Headquarters in Berlin. Before that, she worked on international energy issues both for the German Ministry of Environment and the German Foreign Ministry. She holds a Master's degree in International Affairs and Economics from the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Ferra says

    Thank You for Leading the World to a Renewable Energy Policy that has Liberty and Justice for All.

    We Need Sustainable Energy Policies, with all hands on Deck, removing Home Owners and Business Persons from investing and keeping their own profits goes against our daily childhood pledge of, With Liberty and Justice for All.

    A California Residential Feed in Tariff would allow homeowners to sell their Renewable Energy to the utility, protecting our communities from Poison Water, Grid Failures, Natural Disasters, Toxic Natural Gas and Oil Fracking. It would also create a new revenue stream for the Hard Working Taxpaying, Voting, Homeowner.

    Sign and Share this petition for a California Residential Feed in Tariff.

    We need a National Feed in Tariff, this petition starts in California.

    California currently has a Feed in Tariff that does not allow home owners to participate in the State mandated goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020.

    California also does not allow the homeowner to oversize their R.E systems, as of now, your local utility has allowed only 80% homeowner generation from your R.E system.

    California has 2 different Energy policies Net-metering and a Feed in Tariff.

    Net metering the energy policy for homeowners, allow you to bank excess electricity from R.E systems for future credits. The credits you accumulate are at the retail rate, and are reviewed at the end of the year. It will be written off with a thank you from the utility and no payment to the homeowner for producing more than what you use.

    Net metering has allowed third party leasing companies to replace one utility with another.

    “Examples of Net-metering slow down Renewable Energies:

    1. Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs) which create de facto caps on the deployment of renewable energies (the Germans do not have any RPSs, their Feed in Tariff has no caps.
    2. Net-metering caps, most states only allow a small percentage of one to two percent of peak load to be net metered.

    3. Third party leasing companies like Solar City, Sun Run, Verango and others fight tooth and nail to protect scarce capacity carve outs (from the States RPSs) so as to bolster their chosen business model.” Bob Tregilus

    No one is fighting for the Hard Working, Taxpaying, Voting, Homeowner, we can change that with a Ca. Residential Feed in Tariff Energy policy that allows everyone to participate. Homeowner’s, Small and Large Businesses, Small and Large farmers, and Industries, have the right to sell Renewable Energy electricity to the utility.

    Vote Solar Initiative is a Sierra Club and Solar Leasing Companies platform to ensure that One Utility will take the place of Another through the continued use of Net Metering.

    We need a Policy that will enable Hard Working, Voting, Tax Paying Citizens, get a chance to participate in the States goal of 33% Renewable Energy by 2020 through a California Residential Feed in Tariff.

    California, there is enough Residential Solar to power 2.25 San Onofres, couple that with a Commercial Feed in Tariff and we can solve some of these environmental and electrical generating problems.

    This petition will ask the California Regulators and Law makers to allocate Renewable Portfolio Standards to Ca. Home Owners for a Residential Feed in Tariff, the RPS is the allocation method that is used to set aside a certain percentage of electrical generation for Renewable Energy in the the State.

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