Clean Break

The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation

The European Union’s biggest and most powerful industrial economy is making a clean break from coal, oil and nuclear energy. It is doing something most Americans would say is impossible. But Germany already is running on 25 percent clean energy and the country is on track to reach 80 percent by 2050. Some experts say it could reach 100 percent by then.

This series of stories from 2012 tells the story of Germany’s Energiewende, or energy transformation. It is a very American story that revolves around self-reliant individuals in a responsive democracy forging a national, “can-do” vision. 

In a second series of stories, ICN went back to Germany in 2019 and published these pieces about the lessons the Energiewende holds for America today.