Title: Whither Energiewende? Strategies to manufacture uncertainty and unknowing to redirect Germany's renewable energy law

Authors: Dieter Plehwe; Kardelen Günaydin

Addresses: Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), Reichpietschufer 50, D-10785 Berlin, Germany ' University of Osnabrück, Fachbereich 1: Kultur-und Sozialwissenschaften, Seminarstraße 33, 49074 Osnabrück, Germany

Abstract: Germany's Renewable Energy Act of 2000 has been subject to several reforms. Feed-in tariffs for renewables originally provided a stable environment for investment. The strongly increasing market share of renewables threatened incumbent electricity producers and led to legal and regulatory challenges. The mandated feed-in tariff eventually has been replaced by auctioning in 2014, breaking the momentum of decentralised electricity production from renewable sources. The public opposition to the EEG has been driven by diverse groups, most notably by academic, corporate and partisan think tanks. Most of the groups opposing Energiewende officially acknowledge global warming and proclaim the need of mitigation. Nevertheless, they are highly active in attempting to undermine what has been a highly successful strategy of renewable energy conversion and decentralisation. While previous research has focused on the relevance of 'strategic ignorance' in the prevention of policies (e.g., climate denial), the Energiewende case in Germany stresses the importance of strategies of 'unknowing' (McGoey 2019) carried out in efforts undertaken to undermine and transform successful policy solutions.

Keywords: energy transition; renewables; climate change; lobby; think tank; uncertainty; ignorance; Germany.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2022.127436

International Journal of Public Policy, 2022 Vol.16 No.5/6, pp.270 - 292

Received: 02 Sep 2021
Received in revised form: 08 Mar 2022
Accepted: 05 May 2022

Published online: 05 Dec 2022 *

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