Germany: Frontrunner in Europe with Respect to Energy System Transition?

  • Stefan VögeleEmail author
  • Christopher Ball


In Europe, Germany is the greatest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. With ambitious targets regarding reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and use of energy carriers, Germany aims to be a frontrunner in Europe with respect to energy and environmental policy. However, increasing problems after harvesting “low-hanging” fruits and increasing activities of other countries strengthen the impression that Germany may not be a “frontrunner” or a “leader” anymore. Using indicators with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, to energy use and supply, as well as to technological aspects, we analyze the role of Germany in the European context. The results show that other countries demonstrate partially better performances. Germany can still be regarded as a leader with respect to PV and wind power plants. However, there are signs that Germany could lose some of its remaining advantages. Thus, for Germany, the label “frontrunner” should be used more carefully.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE)Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJülichGermany

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