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Analysis of the German Federal Government’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan

Analysis of the German Federal Government’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan

The National Renewable Energy Action Plans offer a unique insight into the energy policy context of each EU Member State. For a comparative analysis of six European action plans, Katharina Umpfenbach and Stephan Sina contributed a review of Germany's action plan.

For the first time, the EU Renewable Energy Directive sets legally binding targets for the expansion of renewable energies. The EU as a whole aims to provide 20 % of final energy consumption from renewable sources, while Germany agreed to a target of 18 % by 2020. Until July 2010, each Member State had to produce a National Renewable Energy Action Plan, detailing how the target is to be achieved.

The analysis of the German action plan focuses on the electricity sector and Germany’s performance in addressing the long-term challenge of transforming the energy sector.

The report was initiated by the Green European Foundation (GEF) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation. The report [pdf, 1.2 MB, English] can be downloaded free of charge on the GEF website.

A German version of the study is available for download here.


Umpfenbach, Katharina and Stephan Sina 2010: "Analysis of the German Federal Government's National Renewable Energy Action Plan", in: 27 National Action Plans = 1 European Energy Policy? Brussels: Green European Foundation, 44-56.

38 pp.
Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Overview of the German Action Plan

2.1  Measures for the electricity sector
2.2  To what extent does the Action Plan propose measures for cooperation on a European scale or cooperation with Germany’s neighbouring countries?
2.3  To what extent are measures proposed to enable the restructuring of the electricity sector to such an extent that all electricity can be supplied using renewable energies?

3. Analysis

3.1  Are the proposed measures sufficient to achieve the targets set for 2020?
3.2  Is the distribution between the different sources of renewable energy for the achievement of the targets set for 2020 appropriate and sensible? Are all sources treated equally?
3.3  What other measures would be necessary to achieve this transformation?
3.4  Can the targets for 2020 and the aim of covering the total demand for electricity with renewable energies by 2050 be made easier and less expensive through European cooperation and if so, by using which measures?

4. Conclusion

Renewable energies, German Renewable Energy Act, Renewable Energy Directive, Europe