German Energy Security, Raw Materials Supply, and Shifting Geopolitical Impacts
Germany, one of the largest energy consumers in the world, is a peculiar case when it comes to energy security and raw material supply. While the country actually has a wealth of natural resources, especially in the area of mineral resources, it is largely dependent on imports of metallic raw materials and energy resources due to high domestic demand and little indigenous production. In light of recent geopolitical events, this import dependency in conjunction with ambitious targets for the country’s future energy mix and little willingness to explore domestic energy reserves pose new challenges to Germany’s energy security and raw material supply in the long run.
The paper analyzes the dynamics of Germany’s energy policies in light of current internal and external developments. It is based on a contribution to the Conference on the Perspectives on the Development of Energy and Mineral Resources in Hawaii, Mongolia, and Germany, which took place February 11-13, 2015, at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa. The first part overviews Germany’s current energy mix, its import sources and raw material needs, and the recently adopted Raw Material Strategy. The second part explores the underlying reasons for Germany’s current energy policies under the Energiewende and how Russian aggression against Ukraine might impact the historically close energy relationship both countries have had. The third part highlights potential avenues for exchange and cooperation with the United States and Mongolia in the energy and raw materials trade, respectively.
The policy paper was originally published by the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security on August 5, 2015. Read the full publication here.