Key Findings

The German energy transition is driven by citizens and communities.

Germans want clean energy, and a lot of them want to produce it themselves. The Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which is the legal basis for the Energiewende, has historically guaranteed priority grid access to all electricity generated from renewables and is designed to produce reasonable profits. By 2013, nearly half of investments in renewables had been made by small investors and citizens. Yet large corporations have now also begun to invest. The switch to renewables has greatly strengthened small and mid-size businesses, and it has empowered local communities and their citizens to generate their own renewable energy. Across Germany, a rural energy revolution is underway. Communities are benefiting from new jobs and increasing tax revenues.