The case study of citizen energy in Germany will begin with an examination of the specific policy and political economic context for the emergence of this technoeconomic formation. This will draw on existing studies of the role of federal states, cities and rural and urban community groups in the energiewende. A key aim of this literature review, in regard to cross national comparisons with the UK, is to examine the limits and barriers to the simple translation or transplant of German models citizen energy to other parts of the EU such as the UK. This enables an examination of how the ambiguities of ‘citizen energy’ are interpreted and differently imagined in different national and regional context. Within Germany alone, different sociotechnical imaginaries of citizen energy can be identified, with rural and urban divergences and different models of ownership. Finally, given the more advanced state of the citizen energy regime there, the German case is of European significance. It provides a testing ground for the problems that might be generated for the incumbent energy regime, and for controversies around possible negative sociotechncial dynamics of the emergent one. Thus how transitions to distributed ‘citizen energy’ regimes may be imagined and enacted elsewhere in the EU will be to some extent shaped by outcomes in Germany.