After a wave of privatizations in the end of the 1990s, the electrical power supply of many municipalities in Germany has been returned into public hands. Many municipalities discover chances and possibilities for local action, which arise with remunicipalisation. The local policy-makers realize that remunicipalisation offers the opportunity of implementing an independent energy policy at local level which is critical in creating a transformation to a sustainable energy system based on energy efficiency and renewable energies.
This scoping study provides an introduction to the topic of establishing municipal utilities in Germany. The findings of the authors' study provide important new insights into the possibilities to decentralise and democratise the German power sector. The findings were identified on the basis of a comprehensive screening of all newly established municipal utilities in Germany. As most network concession contracts in Germany expire by 2016, there has now existed a window of opportunity to rebuild the local energy supply. As a result, 72 new local power companies were established in Germany within just seven years (between early 2005 and late 2012). The results of this unique study will inform about details regarding regional concentration, the size of municipalities, the legal forms of the newly founded municipal public utility and the role of strategic partnerships.
Furthermore, the founding of 72 municipal utilities since 2005 leads us to ask for the reasons. The study reviews the German trend towards municipal ownership of local utilities, assessing their performance based on 10 targets related to the energy transition, climate protection, and the local economic impact. Based on expert opinions, the study finds out that the likelihood of these targets being reached is "high to very high".
The Japanese translation of the scoping study is completed by a foreword by Prof. Dr. Jörg Raupach-Sumiya (Professor, College of Business Administration, Ritsumeikan University) highlighting the importance of this study for Japan's energy policy.
Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie