External energy policy


Global challenges cannot be solved alone: energy security, environmental protection and eradication of poverty can only be tackled jointly at international level.

High-voltage transmission line in Bavaria
High-voltage transmission line in Bavaria© picture alliance / dpa

Energy security

Energy security is becoming increasingly significant in formulating and shaping foreign policy, in view of growing international fuel demand, new regional economic cooperation and potentially unstable regions. Here, Germany and Europe face the following challenges:

  • diversifying sources of energy, supply routes and fuels to achieve improved security of supply and greater energy independence

  • expanding dialogue with producer, transit and major consumer countries, especially the newly industrialised countries

  • encouraging energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy

  • promoting transfers of economic and scientific expertise from German companies and research institutes to partner countries

  • committing to ambitious aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and expand renewables, also as part of international environment and climate protection negotiations

The search for permanent, reliable sources of energy is becoming increasingly important in terms of foreign and security policy for a major industrial and technological nation such as Germany that has relatively few raw materials. Germany faces two significant challenges:

  • First, it must cooperate more closely at regional and global level to guarantee a sustainable energy policy in the future.

  • Second, it must play an active role in changing from fossil fuels to renewables. These – after coal and oil – will kick start a third Industrial Revolution.

The transformation of Germany’s energy system as a trademark

The transformation of Germany’s energy system is being watched closely in the EU and around the world. Germany has many years of experience as a pioneer in the field of renewable energy. A secure, sustainable energy supply can only be achieved for the long term by continuing to develop renewables and making greater use of them. This was made all the more relevant by the German Government’s June 2011 decision to phase out nuclear power as an energy source by the end of 2022.

The Government is therefore committed to expanding renewables, both in Germany and worldwide. The energy mix of the future will encompass wind power, solar power and hydropower and – if technically and economically feasible – biomass and geothermal energy that can meet our energy needs in the long term. What is more, these renewable sources are vastly more environmentally friendly than conventional forms of energy production.

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