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Greening the Heartlands of Coal in Europe


Greening the Heartlands of Coal in Europe

Insights from a Czech-German-Polish Dialogue on Energy Issues
The narratives around energy policy differ greatly between countries. Recommendations for better cross-border cooperation.

The German energy transition impacts neighbouring countries; however this fact has yet to be adequately addressed in Germany. This study aims to shed light on the situation and facilitate bridge building between neighbors. It builds on the insights of German, Polish and Czech experts and offers information and analyses. The authors - among them Dr. Camilla Bausch and Sascha Müller-Kraenner from Ecologic Istitute - offer a range of recommendations, in particular for better cross-border cooperation and intensified dialogue with the goal of facing our energy and climate challenges together. The study is available for download.

According to the publication's authors, the three countries mentioned above have one thing in common: dependence on coal in electricity production. Where these countries differ significantly, however, is the strategy for their respective future energy policy. While Germany decided to massively increase its share of renewable electricity, Poland and the Czech Republic still build their visions mainly on coal, shale gas or nuclear. The narratives around energy policy differ greatly between the countries. These different approaches are also reflected in the respective national positions on European energy and climate policy.

Thus, the different approaches complicate agreement at the European level while simultaneously burdening bi- and trilateral relationships. The renewables expansion in Germany already impacts the electricity systems of its neighbors. The differences lead to tensions and misunderstandings.

This study is the product of a trilateral expert group which met three times during 2013 at the invitation of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Ecologic Institute to discuss the influence of the German energy transformation on two of Germany's neighbours – Poland and the Czech Republic. The group focused on perceptions of the German energy transformation in the three countries, its impact on cross-border electricity flows and the consequences of various forms of support mechanisms for renewable energy sources.


Piria, Raffaele et al. 2014: Greening the Heartlands of Coal in Europe. Insights from a Czech-German-Polish Dialogue on Energy Issues. Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

Raffaele Piria (lead author)
Aleksandra Arcipowska
Paul Hockenos
Jan Ondřich
59 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

About the authors
Members of the trilateral expert group
Summary and recommendations
Executive Summary

  1. Comparative energy profiles and debates
    1.1. Key energy indicators
    1.2. Energy policy and outlook
  2. Cross-border perceptions and information gaps
    2.1.Energy policy debate and perception of the Energiewende in the Czech Republic
    2.2.Between leadership and self-referentiality: Germany and the foreign policy dimension of the energy transition
    2.3. Energy policy debate and perception of the Energiewende in Poland
  3. Three core issues tackled in the trilateral dialogue
    3.1.Electricity system and markets
    3.2.The debate on the transit (loop) flows through Poland and the Czech Republic
    3.3.Renewable energy support schemes
  4. EU energy policy – integration, cooperation or isolation?

Annex: Facts about the German Energiewende (energy transition)
List of references
List of abbreviations

energy, electricity, electricity markets, coal, nuclear, shale gas, energy efficiency, energy transition, Energiewende, loop flows, transit flows, support schemes, perception, narrative, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Europe