This is a really crucial policy paper, because it shows the inter-relationship between 2 , or even 3 crucial factors in the success of the energy transition in Germany:
First of all came the voluntary, politically and ecologically motivated pioneers, who made it politically viable to introduce the second factor, without which it would have stalled or remained a niche.
The second factor is the regulation that permitted feed-in tariffs, which created a safe market to recuperate investments, which was the third factor.
This combination made the enduring success, while in other countries, where such policies and favourable market conditions were not present, the transition stagnated or even regressed.
Report: Diversity is Strength. The German Energiewende as a Resilient Alternative.
By Tadzio Mueller. Source Network /New Economics Foundation / Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, 2017
The Energiewende and its institutions
Social movements, it has been argued since their heyday in the late 1960s, are actors, or maybe processes, that expand the limits of the possible, that bring ‘the new’ into the world, precisely because they emerge around problematics that the existing set of social and political institutions cannot find solutions for. At the same time, it is precisely this quality of bringing the new into the world that also brings with it one of the key problems of a politics based in movement(s): how do the gains of social movements become generalised and permanent? It is hard, in fact impossible, to constantly stay mobilised. The German anti-Nuclear movement, for example, fought long and hard against any new nuclear power installation in the country. But nobody can stay in the streets forever, so at some point, it becomes necessary to institutionalise movement gains. It is here where movements often fail – and where, for a variety of reasons, the German Energiewende did not fail. It is therefore to the institutionality of the process we now turn. I will argue that its remarkable dynamism and resilience are the result of a peculiar combination of local movement processes and national legislation, and of an unusual combination of political and economic logics. It is what it is not because of the basis of a particular purity, but because it lives by an open logic of articulation.