dena survey: German energy transition perceived internationally as a success

Energy transition survey shows: Renewable energy sources and energy efficiency are internationally recognised as pillars of the energy transition

A survey conducted by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency among the international participants of this year’s Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue shows that the German energy transition continues to be perceived as a success abroad. Three-fourths of respondents see it favourably, and only four per cent negatively. Overall, developing and newly industrialised countries (84 per cent) have a better image of the German energy transition than industrialised countries (65 per cent). In particular, respondents expect the energy transition to have a positive effect on innovation, research and development (96 per cent), as well as on job creation (73 per cent) and the attainment of climate targets (87 per cent). However, some aspects are viewed in a critical light, such as the integration in the European energy market and the security of supply. dena interviewed 102 energy experts from more than 40 countries at the international Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue sponsored by the Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in March 2017 for the ‘Energy Transition Survey’.

Dialogue particularly important for the success of the energy transition

The overwhelming majority are familiar with the targets of the German energy transition and its two pillars – renewable energy sources (78 per cent) and energy efficiency (73 per cent). When expanding renewable energy sources, the experts take it for granted that Germany will reach its targets. However, Germany is not perceived as a role model with regard to the transport and heating transition. Overall, experts from industrialised countries are somewhat more critical as to the attainment of targets, with 57 per cent of the opinion that the emissions reduction target will not be reached. Experts from newly industrialised and developing countries have a much more positive outlook.

“Dialogue formats such as the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue are important – to exchange ideas, learn from each other and create synergies – so we can work together to generate a safe, sustainable and affordable global supply of energy that will contribute to the attainment of the climate targets,” says Andreas Kuhlmann, dena’s Chief Executive.

Germany as pioneer in implementing the energy transition

A majority (70 per cent) of the experts surveyed stated that their own countries also have their own energy transition strategies. The focus is on renewable energy sources (66 per cent) followed by energy efficiency (58 per cent) and the reduction of emissions (53 per cent). The phase-out of nuclear energy (7 per cent) hardly comes into play internationally.

Germany is seen by most as a country from which lessons can be learned: More than 90 per cent state that they see Germany’s policies at least partially as a blueprint for their own energy transition. An especially high proportion of countries are advancing the energy transition in the electricity sector (71 per cent), and half are doing so in the energy efficiency sector as well. The biggest challenges in implementing the energy transition are seen in the political and legal regulatory frameworks, followed by cost effectiveness.

German technological know-how is in high demand among international experts. Newly industrialised and developing countries are especially interested in capacity building and energy partnerships.

About the survey:

Since 2016, dena has been conducting the ‘Energy Transition Survey’ once a year at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Foreign Office. The aim of the survey is to answer three questions: How is the German energy transition perceived internationally? How are other countries shaping their energy transition? And to what extent can approaches and solutions from Germany serve as a model?

About the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue:

Once a year, the Foreign Office and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy present the ‘Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue’. More than 2,000 top-class participants from 80 countries took part in 2017, including more than 30 energy ministers and ministers for foreign affairs. Through the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, the Federal Government is presenting political and technological concepts for the international energy transition, in order to discuss them with international partners and promote international cooperation in the areas of climate protection, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. The Federal Government is holding the conference in partnership with the German Renewable Energy Federation e.V., the German Solar Association e.V., the eclareon consulting agency and the German Energy Agency (dena), and it’s framed by an extensive programme of accompanying events.

More information on the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue can be found in our top story as well as at