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.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Tim Stuchtey

Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security

Dr. Tim H. Stuchtey is the executive director of the Brandenburgisches Institut für Gesellschaft und Sicherheit (BIGS), a homeland security think-tank based in Potsdam, Germany. He is also a Non-Resident Fellow at AICGS and has served as Director of the Business & Economics Program. He works on various issues concerning economic policy, the economy of security, the classic German ‘Ordnungspolitik,’ and the economics of higher education.

Dr. Stuchtey studied economics with a major in international trade and international management and graduated in 1995 from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster. In 2001 he earned a Ph.D. from the Technische Universität Berlin in economics, which he obtained for his work in public finance and higher education policy. He worked as an economist for the German Employers Association and as a university administrator both at Technische and Humboldt-Universität Berlin. He was also the managing director for the Humboldt Institution on Transatlantic Issues, a Berlin-based think tank affiliated with Humboldt-Universität.

He has published a number of articles, working papers, and books on the security industry, homeland and cybersecurity issues, higher education governance and finance and on other questions of the so-called ‘Ordnungspolitik.’