On December 19, 2013, The European Institute in cooperation with the Embassy of Finland hosted a breakfast event with Esa Härmälä, Director-General of the Energy Department at the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy; Dr. Christian Burgsmueller, Head of the Transport, Energy, & Environment Section at the Delegation of the European Union; and Mikhail Kalugin, Head of the Economic Section at the Embassy of the Russian Federation to discuss the progress of Finland’s efforts to achieve sustainable energy independence through diversification of energy resources, closer integration with the European Union’s single energy market, and the furtherance of regional energy projects with neighboring states, including the Russian Federation.
Are United States and Europe, leaders in the developed world, diverging or converging on national energy policies? The question is important since common policies are more likely to set global standards. But there is no single answer because the answer differs depending on which part of the energy sector one is talking about. Accordingly, I will try to answer the question sector by sector starting with oil and proceeding through natural gas, non-hydro renewable and energy efficiency, and ending with climate change. It should be noted that oil is used almost exclusively in the transportation sector; natural gas for electricity production and heating; and non-hydro renewables for electricity production. Energy efficiency and climate change involve both the transportation and electricity sectors.
On March 7, 2012, The European Institute hosted a breakfast discussion on Germany's nuclear phase-out agenda and its commitment to renewable energy sources. R. Andreas Kraemer, Director of the Ecological Institute in Berlin, focused on the reasons behind Germany's gradual nuclear dependency reduction, as well as the process and challenges involved in the country's transition to renewable energy. A panel discussion followed with Edward McGinnis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation at the U.S. Department of Energy and Günter Hörmandinger, Counselor for the Environment at the Delegation of the European Union, who outlined the U.S. and the EU's respective views on nuclear phase-out and alternative energy policies.
Held in cooperation with the German Embassy and the Representative of German Industry and Trade on March 30, 2011, this event showcased the development of the electric car industry on both sides of the Atlantic, and highlighted the necessary R&D, infrastructure and energy supply challenges. Speakers included Ralph Fücks, President, Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Germany; Edwin Owens, U.S. Department of Energy; Brian Rampp, BMW; Brian Wynne, Electric Drive Transportation Association; Dr. Matthias Haun, Bosch; Lee Godown, GM; Claus Fest, RWE; Michael Kagan, Constellation Energy; and Daniel Ciarcia, General Electric; and Luis Giron, Siemens.
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