Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2017

Capstone Advisor

Matt Huber

Honors Reader

Sherburne Abbott

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International Relations | Other International and Area Studies | Political Science


This project is an analysis of the German energy transition, called the Energiewende, and the dual power shift that is underway in the country’s electric sector. It is both a physical shift from conventional fossil fuels to renewable energy, as well as a socio-political shift in power from centralized utilities to community ownership of energy. The project examines three policy mechanisms — the feed-in tariff, emissions trading, and auctions — through the lens of ordoliberalism, a German variant of economic liberalism that believes in state intervention to maximize fair market competition. Using qualitative research of Anglophone sources, this project draws most heavily upon the book Energy Democracy: Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables by Craig Morris and Arne Jungjohann. The project argues that the power shift in Germany, while vastly changing the ownership and diversity of electricity sources, is not truly democratizing the energy sector.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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