Germany’s Energy Transition

Jonathan Koehn, City of Boulder Regional Sustainability Coordinator


Regional Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Boulder, Jonathan Koehn, shared his exciting experiences as one of ten U.S. representatives invited to join international clean energy community leaders for the first Rural Clean Energy Tour of Germany in early October. Jonathan will share how Germany’s inspiring grass-roots efforts to transition away from carbon-based energy sources to clean renewable energy have resulted in improved economic vitality, reduced green house gas production and increased local control of energy.

Germany is a top nation forging the way for the renewable energy industry, particularly at the local level where communities are determined to become more self-sufficient. With this in mind, the Heinrich Boll Foundation organized the Rural Clean Energy Tour, an effort to push the advancement of renewable technologies at the local and regional levels to help local businesses and create investment opportunities to boost economies around the world. This tour brought together opinion leaders, legislators, and policy experts who are committed to achieving policy change surrounding renewable energy sources, leading to a low carbon economy.

The tour traveled around four cities in Germany, each with a different focus in the renewable energy industry.

  • Berlin – political discussions on the German energy transition
  • Kassel – 100% Renewable Energy Conference (organized by German Renewable Energy Agency) – participants shared trans-Atlantic perspectives on renewable energy
  • Rhon-Grabfeld – Highlighted pioneer renewable energy projects initiated by rural communities
  • Frankfurt – key financing mechanisms in place for renewable energies in Germany

Background Info

Mr. Koehn is the Regional Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Boulder. He works to implement the city’s sustainability agenda, specifically in relation to climate action and waste reduction, but more broadly across the complete spectrum of the city’s sustainability goals. He began his tenure in Boulder as the Environmental Manager for the city in 2006, with over 10 years of experience working with state, regional and local governments to develop strategic and tactical solutions to energy, economics, and climate challenges. In recent months, he has been co-leading the city staff team working on Boulder’s energy efforts.

Jonathan came to Boulder with a diverse background with roles such as creating and directing an environmental non-profit organization, managing outdoor programs for parks and recreation, serving as a national park ranger and a dolphin trainer. Most recently, he worked for the city of Flagstaff, Arizona where he served as the Conservation Manager. Jonathan holds degrees in Environmental Science, Biology, and Marine Sciences.

Power Point

Germany’s Energy Transition

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