Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the rising energy prices and the rapidly progressing climate crisis, the Green Party (Alliance90/The Greens) in the German federal state of Brandenburg passed a groundbreaking resolution at their party conference on March 27, 2022. For the first time ever, a party with governmental responsibility decides to aim for 100% renewable energies by 2030.

In this decision-making process the EWG study “100 % renewable energies for Berlin-Brandenburg by 2030”, published in December 2021, played a key role as it showed that Brandenburg can implement a transition to 100% renewable energy  at competitive costs. The study shows that a complete transition to 100% renewables in less than ten years is highly ambitious for the region, but feasible without jeopardizing security of supply.

In addition, our study was able to prove that a full supply with domestic renewable energies is much more cost-effective than today’s fossil and nuclear energy system. The dramatically increasing prices of conventional energies underpin this economic advantage.

On this scientific basis, the Greens with yesterday’s resolution now aim for a provision of all energy for electricity, heat, transportation and industry entirely from 100% renewable energy sources within less than ten years. As they are part of the Brandenburg government, there is a real chance that this resolution turns into a government program.

The federal state of Brandenburg is particularly affected by the disastrous consequences of the climate crisis, especially by long-lasting dry periods including problems like water shortage or forest dieback. Renewable energies play an outstanding role in combating climate change as the conversion to 100% renewable energies reduces greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 60%.

In addition to the escalating climate crisis, the war in Ukraine and the resulting debate on an immediate boycott of Russian energy supplies reinforces the urgency of a massive acceleration of the expansion of renewable energies. At the same time, only the rapid expansion of renewable energies will lead to energy prices that are socially acceptable and support the economy in the long term.

It is a great success that our study was able to provide the scientific basis for this progressive and groundbreaking resolution of the Brandenburg Greens. Now it remains to be hoped that this ambitious goal will become enshrined in Brandenburg’s energy strategyand that other state governments will follow suit.

The resolution on 100% renewable energies by 2030 by Alliance90/The Greens Brandenburg can be found here.

The full EWG study (German) well as an English summary can be found here

Although the opponents of renewable energies are strongly in the minority, the public debate is very much dominated by their arguments. Thus, 83% of German citizens support the further expansion of renewable energies. 51% of the respondents consider wind power “very good” or “rather good” even in the neighborhood. The public acceptance for renewable energies is thus significantly higher than the public image suggests: according to this, a large part of the population is against wind power in their own neighborhood. One of the main arguments of the opponents of wind power is the fear of the alleged disfigurement of the landscape, which will increase considerably with an expansion of wind power with very many new wind turbines. There is a widespread belief that a full supply of 100% renewable energy would result in a landscape filled with wind turbines.

To counter these diffuse fears, the Energy Watch Group has made a rough estimate of how many onshore wind turbines would be needed if Germany’s entire energy supply for electricity, heat, transport and industry were to be provided year-round at every hour of the year solely from renewables by 2030.

Read the full short analysis in German here.

Details & Webinar-Link:

New short study by the Energy Watch Group (EWG) finds:

Electricity would already be cheaper today with a full supply of 100% renewables

27.10.2021 – Berlin | In the coalition negotiations for the new German government, both ambitious climate protection and the reduction of electricity prices play a central role. The previous government still expects only 45% renewables in the electricity mix by 2025. A new short study by the Energy Watch Group offers an answer to the rising energy costs: The study calculates that a full supply with 100% renewables would already be economically competitive today compared to the current energy system based on coal, natural gas and nuclear. By 2025 at the latest, an energy system based on 100% renewables would then be significantly cheaper than power generation with fossil fuels.

“Since around 2017, the electricity generation costs for solar and wind power have fallen far below the electricity generation costs of conventional power plants such as natural gas, coal or nuclear. However, this new development is largely dismissed in societal discourse with the claim that total system costs, including storage, would be far higher than those of conventional power generation. The study proves that this claim is outdated and simply wrong.”, adds Hans-Josef Fell, President of EWG.

The latest developments in the price decline of renewables and storage technologies in conjunction with the price increases of conventional power generation leave no room for doubt: Since 2021, supply-secure power generation from 100% renewables is cheaper than power from newly built conventional power plants, even including storage costs. From 2025, even conventional power plants that have already been built and depreciated will no longer be able to compete economically with newly built full-supply systems with 100% renewable energy. These findings are obtained by modeling the development of electricity prices based on current data.

“In the next few years, conventional existing plants will no longer be economically viable to operate due to the lower costs of renewable full supply. This means that a historically favorable extensive self-sufficiency in all energy sources will be within reach in Germany and also worldwide. This revolution in the fundamental conditions of energy supply can be seen as an opportunity and must be used for immediate climate protection. This means that all energy investments must be immediately withdrawn from fossil fuels and directed into renewable energies,” says Dr. Thure Traber, lead author of the study.

Download the Short Study here in English and German.

Download the Press Release here in English and German.

Press contact:

Sophie Marquitan –

New Study: Current policy frameworks hinder expansion of renewable energies worldwide and undermine climate targets

Hier gehts zur deutschen Pressemitteilung


Berlin (December 18, 2020) – While governments around the world spend billions of dollars to rebuild economies in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, they fail to steer investments into the urgently needed energy transition. Not only are the deployment targets across the globe far too low to deliver the exponential growth of renewables required and therewith meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, but also the increasing use of renewable energy auctions creates substantial additional barriers to achieving exponential growth. The latter is the result of a new study commissioned by the energy policy think tanks Energy Watch Group, World Future Council/Global Renewables Congress and Haleakala Stiftung. In particular, this finding applies to the market segments of small and medium sized renewable energy projects, which can significantly enlarge total deployment capacities and are also crucial for local employment and regional development.

The report, which based its extensive analysis on empirical observations in more than 20 countries worldwide, concludes that a wider policy mix is urgently required to allow for an aggressive expansion of renewable energies. The authors recommend adjusting the use of individual policy instruments depending on the market segment:

  • Continued use of auctions for large-scale projects
  • Use of feed-in tariffs or feed-in premiums for small and medium sized projects
  • Use of self-consumption policies for very small-scale projects

Six key shortcomings of auction-centered energy policy frameworks:

  1. Auctions fail to provide fair access to everyone and deter small-scale actors.
  2. Auctions do not promote a variety of project sizes, as larger projects are typically successful in outbidding smaller ones, frequently excluding small and medium-size projects.
  3. Auctions foster market concentration by favouring financially strong and large actors.
  4. Auctions impair important conditions that support the acceptance of new projects.
  5. Auctions often suffer from under-subscription, project cancellations or delays, hampering the timely achievement of renewable energy expansion targets.
  6. Auctions do not guarantee low remuneration levels, nor have they caused the recent cost reductions of renewables.

“The findings of the report clearly show that auctions are a crucial factor hindering the exponential growth of renewables. This alarming trend jeopardizes international governments’ compliance with the climate targets agreed in Paris, as the switch to low-cost and technologically mature renewable technologies is key to drive emissions down to zero.” says EWG’s president Hans-Josef Fell. “In many parts of the world, renewables are now the cheapest source of energy generation. At the same time, the socio-economic benefits of renewables are not sufficiently reaped and investments into green energy are stagnating.”

New data published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) confirm that investments in renewable energy have been declining since 2017, a trend that is likely to continue throughout 2020/2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Auctions have become a popular instrument for the deployment of renewables while fulfilling other development goals. IRENA has extensively studied the strengths and weaknesses of auctions and continues to analyze innovative designs that can achieve the multiple objectives of procuring renewable power at the lowest price, maximizing the socio-economic benefits, ensuring project timely completion, and supporting the integration of higher shares of variable renewable energy into the system. The findings of this new study provide valuable insights for further analyzing the effectiveness of policy designs for these objectives.” comments Francesco La Camera, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Anna Leidreiter, Project Lead Global Renewables Congress at the WFC, emphasizes: “Renewable energies have to provide the lion’s share of electricity, heating, cooling and transport-related needs in the next decade. To meet this ambitious goal, everyone needs to be part of this transition. We need political frameworks that open up the energy market for new players. This study shows that auctions alone cannot serve this purpose.”

”If the EU really plans to put the Paris climate targets into practice, the new Renewable Energy Directive must give EU Member States full flexibility to choose their own policy instruments – in line with the energy sovereignty enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. To this end, scrutinizing state aid for renewable energy must be restricted.”, states co-author Dörte Fouquet of Becker Büttner Held (BBH).

Mark Z. Jacobson, one of the scientific voices behind the Green New Deal, observes that in the USA, “the expansion of renewable energy at the utility level has worked quite well with the spread of Renewable Portfolio Standards. But we must also strengthen community-based, decentralized as well as medium-sized investments in clean, renewable energy in order to achieve the objectives of the upcoming Biden administration, namely a completely emission-free power sector by 2035. To this end, the study provides valuable science-based policy recommendations.“

The full study by Dr. David Jacobs (IET – International Energy Transition), Katherina Grashof (IZES), Dr. Pablo del Río (Spanish National Research Council – CSIC) and Dr. Dörte Fouquet (Becker Büttner Held) is available below.

Media contact: Charlotte Hornung / +49 30 609898815 /

The press release is available in English & German.


Full Study Executive Summary English Executive Summary German
Click here Click here Click here


About the Energy Watch Group
The Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit think-and-do tank based in Berlin. We are dedicated to accelerating political action towards renewable energy and climate protection through scientific analysis, policy advice and dialogue.

About the World Future Council/ Global Renewables Congress
Global Renewables Congress (GRC) is a new network of parliamentarians dedicated to upscaling renewable energy solutions. It was initiated by the World Future Council (WFC) and co-financed by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) and Mercator Foundation.,

About Haleakala Stiftung
The Heleakala Stiftung was founded in 2008 by Dr Paul Grunow and Frauke Eysell and is fiducially managed by GLS-Treuhand e.V.. The foundation supports people and initiatives that help to make the world more sustainable for mankind and nature. This applies in particular to the implementation of educational projects, respect for human rights and the environmentally friendly restructuring of our energy supply with renewable energies.

The rocky road to truthfulness in climate politics

Key messages

It is widely scientifically recognised that a global temperature increase by more than 2°C threatens to lead to a so called Hothouse Earth scenario in which human civilisation as we know it can no longer exist.

While point of no return is near, this possibly extinctive threat is not perceived as such by the political world, the media and to some extent not even by science itself. Political goals and scientific scenarios which still involve the use of fossil resources and therefore include greenhouse gas emissions after 2030, meaning after exceeding 1.5°C, inevitably lead to a Hothouse Earth.

For this reason, scientists designing scenarios based on climate neutrality by 2050 must clearly articulate that such a path cannot be a contribution to averting a global climate catastrophe. In most cases, however, such scenarios do not contain any warnings of that kind. In doing so, some climate scientists also contribute to the fact that humanity is not taking the necessary measures to combat the climate crisis.

The central Paris target of 1.5°C will be exceeded by 2030 at the latest, and even compliance with 2.0°C will only be achievable through an immediate and profound change of course. Anyone who claims that the Paris agreement could be met with the target of climate neutrality by 2050, like the European Commission, is simply deceiving the public.

At the same time, it is technically and economically possible, albeit with the greatest efforts, to implement a global zero emissions economy in conjunction with large carbon sinks by 2030. This requires political will with a clear agenda, which is supported by climate-sensitive media, and backed up by sustainable economic structures and the efforts of each and every one of us.

Anyone who considers such rapid change unrealistic should at least admit that they cannot propose an alternative way of combating the climate crisis and safeguarding human livelihood.

Read the full Policy Paper right here: Download

The path to climate neutrality by 2050 misses the Paris climate targets

Policy Paper: The path to climate neutrality by 2050 misses the Paris climate targets

New Report on Stimulating Community Energy Investment

(9 December 2020) Citizen-led renewable energy projects – commonly known as “community energy” – can play an important role in the energy transition and a post-COVID recovery by maximising the local socio-economic benefits of renewables and increasing public support for the energy transition.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Coalition for Action’s latest white paper reviews measures that stimulate and sustain community energy. Although renewable energy investments by citizens and communities have gained traction in many countries, knowledge exchange on a global level has been limited. This paper fills the gap by showcasing policy measures and financing mechanisms that reflect best practices and offering recommendations to governments and financial institutions on how to accelerate community energy development and reap its benefits.

To scale up community energy investments, the Coalition for Action recommends the following seven actions for governments and financial institutions:

  • Build awareness and develop a shared understanding of community energy.
  • Adopt targets and policy designs that value citizen participation and local socio-economic development.
  • Establish dedicated agencies or one-stop shops to support community energy.
  • Facilitate community access to capital through targeted public finance.
  • Support innovative financing mechanisms and business models for community energy projects and the most vulnerable.
  • Encourage aggregation of and collaboration between community energy projects.
  • Integrate community energy in energy access and local development programmes.

To view the IRENA Coalition for Action white paper, please click here.

The press release is available in English & German.

Media contact: Charlotte Hornung / +49 30 609898815 /


Statements by the EWG’s co-authors of the community energy white paper

Charlotte Hornung

“The active involvement of citizens and communities worldwide has helped to keep the costs of renewable energy low and the acceptance of the energy transition high. And yet community energy projects still face significant challenges that limit their enormous potential. We therefore call upon policy-makers to urgently establish framework conditions that create a level playing field for community energy and do not leave this key actor behind.”

Hans-Josef Fell

“The community energy white paper clearly shows that community energy is indispensable for the rapid deployment of renewable energy in order to meet the global climate goals. Especially the EU member states and particularly Germany are called upon to immediately implement the EU directive on the support of community energy. Legislators all over the world should grant fixed feed-in tariffs for investments up to 50 MW instead of auctions, as civic investors usually cannot participate in auctions.”

About the Coalition

The IRENA Coalition for Action brings together leading renewable energy players from around the world with the common goal of advancing the uptake of renewable energy. The Coalition facilitates global dialogues between public and private sectors to develop actions to increase the share of renewables in the global energy mix and accelerate the global energy transition.

About the Energy Watch Group

The Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit think-and-do tank based in Berlin. We are dedicated to accelerating political action towards renewable energy and climate protection through scientific analysis, policy advice and dialogue.

Leading Renewable Players Urge Governments to Re-align Recovery Measures with Paris Agreement

(7 December 2020) With the Paris Agreement celebrating its fifth anniversary this week, all eyes are on the world’s governments to urgently scale-up climate action.

In a renewed call to action, over 100 leading renewable energy players, as members of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Coalition for Action, urge governments to correct course. By placing a renewables-based energy transition at the heart of an economic recovery from COVID-19, governments can foster economic resilience and secure a climate-safe future.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, governments have demonstrated their capacity to mobilise efforts and recovery packages at historically unprecedented levels. While some countries have announced more ambitious climate commitments as part of their measures to achieve sustainable and resilient economies post-COVID-19, many others have yet to take decisive actions to move towards a green recovery.

To date, G20 countries have committed at least USD 233 billion in supporting the fossil fuel sector and fossil fuel-dependent industries. These billions represent a missed opportunity to accelerate the energy transition and to power long-term job creation and investment opportunities at a time when we need them most.  The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s post-COVID-19 recovery agenda shows that investments strategically targeted at renewables can put the world on a climate safe path and generate wider socio-economic benefits. Every million dollars (USD) invested in renewables would create three times more jobs than in fossil fuels.

“The COVID-19 recovery measures must be used consistently for a transformation towards a global zero-emission economy based on 100% renewable energy. Only this way, we can ensure climate and health protection at the same time – as a renewable energy transition will also eliminate harmful air and water pollution, thus reducing the number of people in high-risk groups for COVID-19,” says Hans-Josef Fell, President of the Energy Watch Group, a Berlin-based think tank and member organisation of the IRENA Coalition for Action. “The current crisis has shown that rapid and serious government intervention to protect the wellbeing of citizens is possible. Similarly, consistent decisions are now needed for measures that coherently realize environmental protection on the basis of health care and climate protection.”, David Wortmann, member of the Coalition’s Steering Group and Board Member of the Energy Watch Group, adds.

Building on its previous call to action released in April 2020, the Coalition for Action now urges governments to reset their recovery priorities through the following six actions:

  1. Re-evaluate stimulus measures and correct course to ensure a green recovery in line with global climate objectives.
  2. Raise policy ambitions and clarify long-term plans for renewable generation and consumption, both centralised and decentralised.
  3. Ensure energy markets can deliver continuity and stimulate investment and growth in renewables.
  4. Prioritise renewable energy as a key component of industrial policies.
  5. Align labour and education policies with a just energy transition.
  6. Intensify international co-operation and action on COVID-19 while recognising renewable energy as a key part of the solution.

Through these six actions, governments can align their economic recovery from COVID-19 with their climate plans, deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement, and come back stronger than ever from the COVID-19 crisis.  Now is the time to use the momentum of a green recovery to continue building broad public support for the transformative decarbonisation of societies and pave the way for equitable, inclusive and resilient economies.

For a more detailed view of the IRENA Coalition for Action’s renewed Call to Action, please click here.

The press release is available in English & German

Media contact: Charlotte Hornung / +49 30 609898815 /

About the Coalition

The IRENA Coalition for Action brings together leading renewable energy players from around the world with the common goal of advancing the uptake of renewable energy. The Coalition facilitates global dialogues between public and private sectors to develop actions to increase the share of renewables in the global energy mix and accelerate the global energy transition.

About the Energy Watch Group

The Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit think-and-do tank based in Berlin. We are dedicated to accelerating political action towards renewable energy and climate protection through scientific analysis, policy advice and dialogue.

A Green Power Pathway for Taiwan

Berlin, Germany/ Hsinchu City, Taiwan (21 October 2020). The Berlin-based think tank Energy Watch Group (EWG) has received a mandate from the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), a world-leading applied technology research institute headquartered in Taiwan. The aim of the strategic cooperation is to outline a detailed pathway towards a fully sustainable power system for Taiwan by 2050 or earlier. Along with a comprehensive scientific simulation of a cost-efficient and technology-rich transformation towards a 100% renewable power sector, policy recommendations for the implementation of the green power pathway in Taiwan will be developed.

The project period starts immediately and lasts 15 months, with results expected by the end of 2021. The modelling study is carried out by an international team of experts under the scientific direction of Dr. Christian Breyer, Professor for Solar Economy at LUT University, Finland and Chairman of the EWG Scientific Board.

Contact: Charlotte Hornung,, +49 30 609898810

The Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an independent, non-profit think-and-do tank based in Berlin. We are dedicated to accelerating political action towards renewable energy and climate protection through scientific analysis, policy advice and dialogue.

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is a not-for-profit R&D organization engaging in applied research and technical services. Its mission is to drive industrial development, create economic value, and enhance social well-being through technology R&D.

A brief analysis by the Energy Watch Group

Today, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2020. While showing improvements in some areas, the report remains inconsistent with the 1.5°C target. This year’s WEO focuses on recovery measures in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, but – as usual – falls far short of what would be necessary in terms of climate and energy policy. In recent years, the IEA had continuously and significantly overestimated the use of fossil and nuclear energy sources and, in return, underestimated the expansion of renewable energy. As a result, the IEA has become one of the main causes for the increasing GHG emissions and the Earth’s overheating.

Although the IEA’s figures on costs and expansion rates of renewables are approaching reality, which cannot be said about past WEO’s, even with the new WEO 2020, the IEA again demonstrates its irresponsibility towards climate protection, encouraging the continued long-term use of fossil fuels.

The WEO’s assessment on climate protection in their Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) is downright grotesque. The scenario sees a 50% probability of global warming not exceeding 1.65°C above pre-industrial levels, if zero emissions are achieved as late as 2070. In view of a current global temperature increase of 1.3°C, as recently measured by climate researchers of the EU climate research institute Copernicus, this is completely absurd. During the past decade, world temperature has risen by 0.18°C. Within the ongoing and the next decade, temperature rise is expected to further increase by 0.2°C each, so that 1.7°C will already be exceeded by 2040 at the latest. And even if all emissions were to be stopped by 2030, the Earth would continue to heat up significantly. For the year 2040 however, the SDS still foresees about 45% of today’s greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly, this has nothing to do with a “sustainable development” scenario.

The WEO 2020 has improved its projections in some areas. Yet, the projections are neither sufficient nor optimistic enough. PV, for example, is expected to grow from 600 GW to 5900 GW until 2040 (11.5% per year), and wind power from 620 GW to 3000 GW (8% per year). Compared to earlier IEA publications, this is an improvement in the right direction. For comparison, the respective projection for PV in the WEO 2019 was 4800 GW. Moreover, the stated PV costs for the first time represent the actual conditions. Still, no further conclusions are drawn from the fact that PV is the most cost-effective form of electricity generation today, although it will restructure the energy system much faster than the WEO 2020 envisages.

Nuclear power generation is expected to increase from 2,800 TWh to 4,300 TWh in the SDS. This seems odd in view of the fact that nuclear energy is the most expensive form of electricity generation and is associated with great problems in terms of technology, economic viability and security policy, as well as considering that the construction period of a nuclear power plant is usually well over 10 years.

Oil consumption in the transport sector is expected to fall only slightly by 2030 – the high dynamics of electric mobility are not anticipated. After all, coal use is expected to decline significantly by 2050. Yet, electricity generation from natural gas is only expected to fall from 6,300 TWh to 4,550 TWh by 2050. This means that fossil gas is believed to have a bright future ahead. This is an extremely dangerous message for any climate protection efforts, as methane emissions are increasing dramatically and fossil gas is no less harmful to the climate than coal.

As the WEO is still seen in many places as the most relevant and precise forecast of the future energy system, the report has the potential to influence future private and public investments worth trillions. In addition, the WEO scenarios will also serve as reference points for any climate targets that are adopted in the run-up to the global climate talks (COP) 2021 in Glasgow.

Conclusion: With this year’s WEO, the IEA remains true to its irresponsibility by further encouraging a long-term use of fossil and nuclear energy sources, apparently without including neither the necessity, nor the economic, social and political opportunities of a fast and comprehensive transition to 100% renewable energy. In recent years, various research institutes have demonstrated the feasibility of 100% renewable energy by or before 2050. Thus, the IEA, as the world’s most influential authority on energy issues, remains one of the leading players to be named when asking ourselves why the world community cannot find a viable pathway towards climate protection.

Downloads: English, German