The Role of German Regime Actors and Trade Unions in the Energy Transition: Agency and Power

  • Stefan Bößner


The German energy transition is an interesting beast. While the share of renewable energies in the power sector has reached impressive dimensions, the country’s emissions remain stubbornly high. One reason for this counter intuitive development is the significant role coal has played and continues to play in Germany’s energy mix and in the German economy. This chapter shines a light on this continuous love affair with coal and investigates how coal has historically shaped the German economy, its energy system and even the cultural identity of coal regions. Furthermore, the chapter analyses the role of German coal stakeholders such as utilities and labour unions and investigates the agency and power those stakeholders are still able to wield in order to prop up the fossil fuel-based energy system. By doing so, the chapter offers some explanations on why tackling coal as an energy source has been so difficult in Germany.


Coal Energy transition Regime actors Unions Renewables Utilities Just transition 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Bößner
    • 1
  1. 1.Stockholm Environment InstituteStockholmSweden

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