As part of the tenth annual "Congress-Bundestag Forum," members of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Germany to discuss various aspects of international politics. The tour included a discussion on energy policy and its recent developments. Dr. Camilla Bausch of Ecologic Institute reported on the history, current status and prospects of the German "Energiewende".
This event was organized by the German Marshall Fund (GMF) and the Robert Bosch Foundation. In addition to representatives from these organizations, the event was also attended by the following Members of the U.S. Congress:
- Spencer Bachus III (Republican, Alabama),
- Steve King (Republican, Iowa),
- Ed Perlmutter (Democrat, Colorado),
- Loretta Sanchez (Democrat, California).
Due to the variety in political and regional backgrounds of the attending members, a diverse discussion ensued. Issues raised include the controversy on the use of biofuels, as well as the potential and prospects of technological innovations, the reasons for public support of the move away from nuclear energy in Germany, and the needs and implications of an expansion of the electricity grid. Different opinions and perspectives came to light throughout the discussion, especially related to the evaluation of potential technological innovations, and the use of ethanol as a fuel. But overall the great potential for the use and development of renewable energy in the U.S. was acknowledged. It is precisely for this reason that there is such interest in learning from the practical experience gained during the implementation of the German Energiewende.