Germany's energy transition: 1 year later

May 17, 2012

Twenty-six years after Chernobyl, one year after Fukushima: Throughout modern history, global attention to energy procurement has spiked following large-scale nuclear disasters. Yet even before the accident in Japan, the German government had advocated a switch to alternative energy sources. The events in 2011 again stressed the importance of finding new, safe, sustainable, and efficient energy supply options. Germany responded to the heightened international focus on energy procurement by turning to a fast-paced nuclear phase-out program. By 2020, the German government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to emission levels in 1990, and to expand renewable sources of electricity by 35%. The last nuclear power plant is scheduled to be shut down two years later, in 2022. By 2050, Germany plans to be 80-95% below 1990 CO2 emission levels and to derive 80% of the nation's electricity from renewables. In research and technology, the government's High-Tech Strategy has identified climate and resource protection in power generation as one of its five key areas of focus. Several government-funded projects and initiatives, for example, aim to improve the effectiveness of organic solar cells, develop new energy storage technologies, and CO2 reduction concepts to achieve the High-Tech Strategy's objectives by 2020.

Join Prof. Miranda Schreurs, Director of the Environmental Policy Research Centre and Professor of Comparative Politics at the Freie Universität Berlin, as she examines the rationale and mechanisms for achieving these goals and describes plans for assessing the success of Germany's energy transition program. Earlier this year, Prof. Schreurs was appointed by Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Ethics Commission on a Safe Energy Supply, charged with advising the German government with advice regarding energy questions in the post-Fukushima era. In addition to her positions in university research, Prof. Schreurs was also appointed as a member of the Advisory Council on the Environment, a consultative committee of the German Federal government. In 2011, she became chair of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils, a network of advisory councils across Europe.

The lunch discussion will take place on Monday, May 21, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., at the German House New York (871 United Nations Plaza, First Avenue, btw. 48th & 49th Streets). It is jointly organized by GCRI and the American Council on Germany. To RSVP by May 18, click here: http://secure.jotformpro.com/form/21234728595964. A video recording will be available on http://www.germaninnovation.org shortly after the event.
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The German Center for Research and Innovation provides information and support for the realization of cooperative and collaborative projects between North America and Germany. With the goal of enhancing communication on the critical challenges of the 21st century, GCRI hosts a wide range of events, from lectures and exhibitions to workshops and science dinners. Opened in February 2010, GCRI was created as a cornerstone of the German government's initiative to internationalize science and research and is one of five centers worldwide.

German Center for Research and Innovation

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