As a new element in the Ecologic Institute's long-standing cooperation with the Duke University in North Carolina, the Institute hosts a course on the German Energiewende. For the second time, the Ecologic Institute organizes this course as part of the 2014 Summer in Berlin program jointly organized by Duke University and Rutgers.
The course provides a comprehensive view of the Energiewende – Germany’s effort to reshape its energy system, the industry, and building sectors into a nuclear-free, low-carbon economy. The course applies a range of analytical methods – including economic assessment tools, legal analyses and political science – to shed light on different facets of the Energiewende, and to help understand the public and academic debates around it. The course thus offers different angles – looking at the economics of the Energiewende, as well as the technological, social, ethical, legal and political implications. In 12 sessions, the course takes a closer look at some of the key instruments – such as carbon pricing, energy efficiency or renewable support policies; it explains key controversies linked to the Energiewende – including a history of the nuclear debate in Germany, as well as the debate on biofuels; it explores the linkages between national, European and international climate and energy policy, and it analyses some of the current issues that the Energiewende is facing - such as electricity market design, and the discussion on distributional or competitiveness impacts.
The course faculty includes senior staff of the Ecologic Institute with backgrounds in economics, law, political science, engineering and history. The course can therefore draw on the extensive and varied expertise of the Ecologic Institute on a range of topics, and offer a number of different disciplinary angles. The teaching in class is complemented by discussions with stakeholders and policy makers, such as a discussion with a member of the German Parliament, or a visit to the EUREF Campus in Berlin-Schöneberg, including an introduction to the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC).