Geopolitics of Energy Transformation

The project examines the geopolitics of the energy transformation by taking stock and focusing on the EU’s evolving energy relations with important partner countries and regions.

The project builds upon last year’s GET 2030 project and on the IRENA Global Commission Report "A New World. The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation", which explored the potential geopolitical impact of the energy transformation based on renewable energies on power relations among states and regions.

The first task of the project is to analyze the drivers of change in international energy relations (shift away from fossil fuels, electrification and digitalization, need for new raw materials etc.). The second task is to explore how the matrix and the network of energy relations is changing the power dynamics between producers and consumers as well as the global energy governance by transforming global supply and value chains and reconfiguring energy and economic spaces.

Given that the energy transformation will progress very differently in different regions, the project focuses on three main regions, where the energy transformation is likely to have a major impact on the EU: the Asia-Pacific, the Eurasia, Middle East and North Africa. Moreover, the project will give particular attention to the geoeconomics between the EU, US, China and Russia.

The final goal of the project is to assist German and European policy makers in anticipating the geopolitical consequences of the energy transformation and to present possible options for action.

Project duration: September 2019-Dezember 2020

Head: Dr. Kirsten Westphal

Project team: Dr. Jacopo Maria Pepe, Maria Pastukhova

Contact: Dr. Kirsten Westphal

Project funding: Auswärtiges Amt

Cooperation partners: The Elcano Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies, Institut français des relations internationals (IFRI), The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM)


Andreas Goldthau, Kirsten Westphal

Why the Global Energy Transition Does Not Mean the End of the Petrostate

in: Global Policy, Volume 10, Issue 2, May 2019, pp. 279-289
Kirsten Westphal, Andreas Goldthau, Morgan Bazilian, Michael Bradshaw

How the energy transition will reshape geopolitics

Paths to a low-carbon economy will create rivalries, winners and losers

in: Nature, Vol. 569, May 2019, pp. 2-5
Andreas Goldthau, Martin Keim, Kirsten Westphal

The Geopolitics of Energy Transformation

Governing the Shift: Transformation Dividends, Systemic Risks and New Uncertainties

SWP Comment 2018/C 42, October 2018, 4 Pages

SWP Research Papers

Felix Heiduk, Gudrun Wacker
From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific

Significance, Implementation and Challenges

Oliver Geden, Felix Schenuit
Unconventional Mitigation

Carbon Dioxide Removal as a New Approach in EU Climate Policy