From 5 until 11 October 2014, Ecologic Institute together with GIZ implemented a program on the German Energy Transition for 17 international experts and journalists. Participants were able to meet and discuss with representatives from ministries, think tanks, NGOs and business representatives in Berlin. Both national policies and examples of local and regional implementation of the German energy policy were highlighted during the tour.
In addition, participants got insights into efforts by various industries at the Renexo energy fair in Augsburg and at BMW in Munich.
The program started with a dinner talk with R. Andreas Kraemer, Director of Ecologic Institute, where he introduced Germany's decision to phase out nuclear energy and rapidly increase the usage of renewable energy sources. The next four days were filled with engaging discussions and presentations by experts spread across a number of fields, allowing the participants to gain a broad understanding of the economic, technological, and societal changes taking place in Germany as a result of the Energiewende.
The participants, representing 17 different countries in 5 continents, also had opportunities to learn from each other and to give presenters a better idea of what issues and questions were of most importance in their home countries.
The program included the following events:
- Meeting with Marius Backhaus, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) on the German Energiewende: Goals, progress so far and challenges ahead
- Presentation and discussion with Ernst Peter Fischer, Deputy Director-General for Globalization, Energy and Climate Policy, German Federal Foreign Office.
- Meeting with Dr. Joachim Lang, Director of the Berlin E.ON representation.
- Meeting with Dimitri Pesci, Senior Project Manager for European Energy Cooperation, Agora Energiewende on the impact of the German Energiewende from a European and international perspective
- Meeting in the German Bundestag with the MP Dr. Matthias Miersch of the Social Democratic Party on his work as a member of the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
- Visit to the Renexo energy fair in Augsburg, the Energy trade fair of the Bundesland of Bavaria
- Guided city tour of Munich with a tour through BMW world and a presentation of BMW project i-electromobility
A trip to the energy self-sufficient village of Feldheim in Brandenburg, which has installed private local heating and power grids, showed the group one of Germany's examples of local energy autonomy and explored all aspects of the village’s energy sources: Wind Energy, Biogas, Biomass, the Local Heating Network, and Photovoltaics.
A Riverside Chat entitled "the Role of Coal in the German Energy Transition", had as additional guests experts from the Berlin policy, NGO, think-tank, and scientific community in Berlin, which allowed for a broader discussion. Input for the event was provided by Elias Perabo, Consultant on German energy policy for the European Climate Foundation. The event was moderated by Camilla Bausch, as of 2015 director of Ecologic Institute.
The program was sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office and organized by the Ecologic Institute in close cooperation with the German Embassies.