Lobbying the ‘Energiewende’: Assessing the effectiveness of strategies to promote the renewable energy business in Germany

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The article examines the influence of renewable energy companies on the decision-making process related to the German energy transition. It identifies clusters of different lobbying activities and styles through in depth interviews with 20 stakeholders from policy-making and business. The research used Repertory Grid Technique in combination with HOMALS multivariate analysis. Its main findings are: First, although the big four electric utilities operating on the German energy market still possess wide influence, companies of renewable energy have developed from a niche into important players of the energy regime. Second, lobbies by the renewable energy sector are mainly aimed at the legislative framework, particularly on the Renewable Energy Sources Act and the feed-in-system. Third, interviewees identified 36 different lobby activities; the most effective ones are: ‘Regular and personal maintenance of contact to politicians’, ‘Lobbying within an association’, ‘Knowledge development with correct information’ and ‘Top-down contacting of most powerful politicians’. Fourth, the statistical analysis reveals clear distinctions between companies with regards to their lobby strategies which are evaluated differently by stakeholders. Finally, the article concludes that companies have a strong influence on political-decision making and – together with governmental actors – form a ‘policy network’ that strongly shapes the German energy transition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Policy
Pages (from-to)316-325
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 06.2014