Where do Canada and Germany stand in the field of energy policy, especially in renewable energies and energy efficiency? Which initiatives and projects are leading the way? Which impact had the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21)? Who is driving development and how can Canada profit from Germany's experiences? These and other questions framed the Canadian-German visitors program that took place from 13 until 17 December 2015 in Berlin and Düsseldorf, focusing on the theme "Energy Policy in Germany." The program hosted 10 stakeholders with professional backgrounds in policy, science and NGO works.
The objective of the program was to inform the participants about the possibilities and challenges of German energy policy and to strengthen their consciousness for the opportunities in energy transition. Furthermore, participants had the opportunity to gain new knowledge and create important contacts, which can be used to initiate concrete measures in Canada.
Various program formats (discussion sessions, individual lectures, excursions, culture programs) with representatives from ministries, parliament, think tanks and NGOs in Berlin and Düsseldorf ensured a comprehensive insight into the theme.
Among others, the program included:
- Welcome dinner with introduction to the program by Prof. Mishka Lysack (University of Calgary), Benjamin Görlach (Head, Economics and Policy Assessment, Ecologic Institute) and Andreas Graf (Researcher, Ecologic Institute)
- Presentation and discussion with Christoph H. Stefes (Senior Fellow, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Ecologic Institute) and Andreas Graf (Researcher, Ecologic Institute) on "Energy Policy in Germany and the German Energiewende: Opportunities, challenges and key insights"
- Discussion with Thorsten Herdan (Director General Energy Policy – Heating and Efficiency) on "Energy Transition – Status and Outlook" at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology
- Presentation by Patrick Graichen (Director, Agora Energiewende) on "Decarbonizing the power sector: What have we learned and what are the challenges ahead?"
- Dinner Dialogue with experts and guests at the invitation of the Embassy of Canada to Germany on the topic "The role of the 'Big Utilities' in the context of the German Energy Transition" - Speakers: Franzjosef Schafhausen (Director General Climate Policy, European and International Affairs, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety); Peter Hohaus (Policy Advisor, E.ON Representation Berlin); Fabian Schmitz-Grethlein (Deputy Chief of Department of Energy Economics, Verband kommunaler Unternehmen e.V., VKU); Moderation: Dr. Camilla Bausch (Director, Ecologic Institute)
- Meeting and discussion with Titus Rebhahnn (Head of Office / Scientific Consultant, Office of Oliver Krischer MdB , Alliance 90/The Greens) at the German Bundestag
- Discussion with Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes (Member of the Board of Directors, BEE)
- Lunch and discussion at the Federal Foreign Office with Bärbel Höhn (Chairwoman of the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Alliance 90/The Greens) and Hans Koeppel (Head of Unit, Foreign Policy Aspects of the German Energy Concept, Federal Foreign Office)
- Presentation by Olivier Feix (Head of Communications & Public Affairs, 50Hertz) on "Challenges of RES integration - The role of transmission system operators in the context of the energy turnaround"
- Meeting and discussion with Mehrdad Mostofizadeh (Parliamentary Party Leader, Alliance 90/The Greens), Wibke Brems (Member of Parliament of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Spokeswoman for energy policy and climate change) and Katrin Uhlig (Scientific staff, Climate protection, energy and nuclear, policy Alliance 90/The Greens) at the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Presentation by Dr. Christian Wolf (Bergischer Abfallwirtschaftsverband) on "metabolon – Transformation of the Leppe landfill into a center for education, research, business park and recreation"
- Meeting and discussion with Viktor Haase (Head of Division, Cross Sectoral Environmental Matters, Sustainable Development, Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection of North-Rhine Westphalia)
- Excursion in the Ruhr area to see examples of structural change: "Solar City Gelsenkirchen: From Coal to Sun" - Presentation and guided tour with Sabine von der Beck (Press Officer, Wissenschaftspark Gelsenkirchen)
Articles of participants:
What can Canada learn from Germany's energy transition? [English] (Gideon Forman, David Suzuki Foundation)