From 2017, Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation will be making available a total of around 20 million euros (US$22.6 million)to fund the Agora Energiewende and Clean Energy Wire (CLEW) for a further five years. The positive evaluation results were the main reason why follow-up funding of both projects was approved.
Evaluations show that the Agora Energiewende has succeeded in establishing itself as an important and acknowledged actor when it comes to illustrating possible options for designing the energy transition. The Berlin-based think tank, which was jointly launched by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation in 2012, works out scientifically-founded approaches to a successful energy transition and supports an opinion-forming process about goal-oriented strategies among experts and decision-makers.
Conducted by the NewClimate Institute, the external evaluation emphasizes above all the high quality and relevance of the Agora Energiewende’s work. In addition, it notes that the analyses and recommendations of the Agora Energiewende are largely viewed as balanced and objective by those surveyed for the purposes of the evaluation. A further important feature is the organization’s role as impetus-giver: the NewClimate Institute positively highlighted the fact that the Agora Energiewende addresses key energy-policy issues at an early stage. It also manages to present complex matters in a way that is readily comprehensible for a broad target group in the areas of politics, business and society.
The results of the evaluation are based on around 40 personal interviews with relevant stakeholders, an online survey of 500 subscribers to the Agora Energiewende newsletter and statistical analyses of instances in which Agora Energiewende products were accessed as well as of other key indicators.
For the next project phase, which will be jointly funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation to the tune of 15 million euros, the NewClimate Institute recommends above all that activities be further deepened on the European level.
Initiated in 2013, the non-profit media service Clean Energy Wire (CLEW), which supports journalists by providing them with a solid information basis for reporting on the complex subject of the energy transition, likewise enjoyed a successful first project phase.
The external evaluation by the Institut für Verbraucherjournalismus (the Institute of Consumer Journalism) shows clearly that the quality of the information supplied by CLEW about current energy policy in Germany and of the research and cooperation services it offers to journalists is invariably high. International journalists in particular describe the services as very helpful and important in their professional work. The evaluation has shown that CLEW succeeded in a very short period of time in establishing authoritative facts about the energy transition in the media and public debate in Germany and abroad. During the course of the second funding phase, the successful work done by CLEW is now to be systematically expanded. To this end, Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation are making available a total of 4.9 million euros.
“As a learning organization, we naturally critically examine ourselves and our work on a regular basis. External evaluations are indispensable in this context and provide us with valuable indications. We are delighted by the outstanding results and look forward to continuing our good collaboration with our partner organizations Agora Energiewende and CLEW”, said Dr Lars Grotewold, director of the Centre for Climate Change at Stiftung Mercator, in response to the approved follow-up funding for the projects.
“We are very impressed by how quickly the Agora Energiewende and indeed CLEW have succeeded in becoming highly respected fixed points in the discussion about the energy transition in Germany and beyond. We are confident that both will be able to build upon their positions, especially since important questions about how to transform our energy system in the next few years will need to be addressed”, said Dr. Christoph Wolff, managing director of the European Climate Foundation.
Summaries of both evaluations can be accessed from the Stiftung Mercator website and from the Agora Energiewende and CLEW.