Energiewende Conference - Gökberk Bilgin

This week, we will have special guests from Germany. Craig Morris and Arne Jungjohann, who are the authors of the Energy Democracy Germany’s Energiewende To Renewables, will be with us on Wednesday for the Energy Crisis and World of Energy lecture.

In their study, Morris and Jungjohann first define the German understanding fo energy democracy as followed: Energy democracy is 1) when citizens and communities can make their energy, even when it hurts energy corporations financially; 2) something currently mainly pursued in Denmark and Germany but that can spread around the world during the current window of opportunity; 3) the most often overlooked benefit of distributed renewables in the fight against climate change; 4) something to fight for as the path to a better quality of life with stronger communities and better personal relationships.

From this standpoint of view, the authors show how Germany began its journey on becoming a key player in the renewable energy sector. Even though many people think the policies began after Fukushima or the crisis with Russia, there is a vast background on the transmission process starting from the early 1980s, where the initial goal was to decrease coal consumption rate on the energy sector. After the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, reducing nuclear power and protecting climate becomes popular.

However, the vital aspect of the German energy transition was the people who initiated the process from bottom-up. Protests against nuclear energy plants began in the 1970s against the government, and the companies started investing in wind and solar energy by the 1980s.

The technological developments in these sectors happened gradually with minor improvements each time and today made Germany one of the leading countries in renewable energy.

As Germany, Turkey also tries to increase the rate of renewables on energy production. Today, around 60 to 70% of electricity production comes from renewable energy. Even though the authors argue that the goal of the book is not to encourage people to start copying Germany’s Energiwende, Turkey can learn from the experience. Instead of solely focusing on the outcomes, we can choose the see the process and struggles to develop our incentive mechanisms on the subject. The conference, therefore, will be valuable for the ones who are interested in the small details behind Germany’s success. The book is also available online for Bilkent students. You can download it through our library’s website.

The event will be online on YouTube. You will be able to ask your questions to authors by using the live chat tool. We hope to see you virtually on Wednesday.

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