The Expansion of Renewable Energies in Germany between Niche Dynamics and System Integration

Rüdiger Mautz, Technische Universität Dortmund, Technische Universität Dortmund
The main assumption is that the expansion of the renewable energies in Germany is not only the result of technical innovations, but also the outcome of specific social and institutional innovation processes. The article first examines the reasons for the increasing diffusion of renewable energies. Some attention will be directed to the relevance of political regulation and to actor networks, which have been important for the process of innovation. Secondly, the question will be discussed if
more » ... e is another side to the rapid growth of the sector for renewable energies, in the sense of specific problems and ambivalent results caused by the growth. One example could be conflicts, which emerge from divergent interests of actors involved or from the risks of technological niche promotion. The third main topic takes as its point of departure the fact that the relationship between the 'renewables' and the traditional industry of power generation was marked from the outset by competing paradigms. The renewable energies could at first only be propagated in small niches, which had to be protected by political regulation. The question will be discussed whether the increasing expansion of the niches causes growing problems with integrating the renewable energies into the given centralized electricity system and what kind of different interests and ideas about system integration have to be taken into consideration.
doi:10.17877/de290r-984 fatcat:kihtdefvovhuvjads6c6cwwsly