Germans more pessimistic about their own energy transition than the rest of Europe

05/16/19

When it comes to their own country, people in Germany are more pessimistic than the rest of Europe: On average, survey respondents across Europe believe that Germany’s energy transition is about 65 percent complete, while the Germans themselves think it has only reached about the halfway point.

E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen, too, has publicly pointed out on several occasions that the transformation of the German power sector is far from being a genuine energy transition. Climate protection efforts in Germany, he said, are stalling. There is still a great need for action in the areas of transport and heating, he went on to say, so politicians must urgently find a consistent approach to introducing an effective CO2 price for the use of fossil fuels in transport and heat generation. Such a carbon levy needs to be supported by intelligent social and economic policy decisions, however, so it does not create a burden for only some groups of energy consumers. In addition, he claimed, the revenues should be used to substantially reduce the electricity price for all customers.

Fifty percent completion in the German respondents’ ranking puts Germany only in third place, with Sweden and Denmark faring much better at around 66 percent and 64 percent respectively. Romania (around 26 percent) brings up the rear in the transition to renewable energies, just behind Turkey with just over 29 percent.

But how do these countries view Germany? Romanians rank Sweden first, believing the energy transition there to be 73.4 percent complete. Germany comes a close second at only 0.2 percentage points behind Sweden, followed by Denmark at 73.1 percent. Romania, by the way, is also ranked last in terms of the transition to renewables by the Romanians themselves, with respondents there seeing the transition as 40.5 percent complete.

For people in Turkey, meanwhile, Sweden tops the list at 77 percent with Germany ranked a close second at 76 percent. For Sweden, this figure is the best result of the entire survey. In Turkey, too, the respondents believe their own country is the least advanced in terms of renewable energy use (48.7 percent).
On a Europe-wide average, Sweden, Denmark and Germany ranked top three in the assessment of who is furthest in the energy system transformation process. They are followed by the UK, France, Italy, the Czech Republic and Hungary, while Turkey and Romania are lagging behind.

The results of the survey are part of the ‘Living in Europe’ study, for which E.ON and KantarEMNID questioned around 10,000 people in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and the UK.

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