Weltenergierat–Deutschland is the national member representing the Federal Republic of Germany at the World Energy Council. Its members include companies in the energy industry, associations, academic institutions and individuals. As a non-governmental, joint profit association, Weltenergierat-Deutschland is independent in its opinion. Its objective is to implement and disseminate key World Energy Council insights and knowledge in Germany, in particular, to bring the global and longer-term issues and needs of the energy and environmental policy to the attention of the national debate. To this purpose, it organises its own events and carries out its own studies.
After having studied chemistry at the university of Hamburg, where he gained his PhD in 1978, Dr. Uwe Franke joined BP on 1st Jan 1979 where he worked in several positions up to his last position at BP as CEO of BP Europa SE until 30th April 2012 when he retired. Dr. Franke has played a role in many associations and organisations at the interface between business and politics. Examples are: Board of the German Industry Association BDI, Board of the German Transport Forum DVF, Board of the Eastern Committee of the German Industry, Steering Committee of the Energy Commission, Advisory Council to the Government, the German-Russian Forum, the German-British Königswinter Conference etc.
He founded the Diversity Charta in Germany under sponsorship of Chancellor Merkel and was appointed German Ambassador for diversity. Dr. Franke is a non-executive Director of Hoyer GmbH, Basalt AG, Arbiom SA, Alexander Proudfoot Consulting, Cash Payment Solutions GmbH, Brahms Oil Refineries LTD and Waschpakete.de. He advises IFM Industry Funds Management as Senior Advisor. Furthermore he has joined Bernotat+Cie GmbH as Mentor for Senior Executives. On 1st January 2014 Dr. Franke took the position as President of the German Member Committee of the World Energy Council.
Carsten Rolle, Secretary General of the German Member Committee of the World Energy Council since 2005, holds a PhD in economics from Münster University. After his studies, he managed the department for telecommunications and postal services at the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in Berlin. Since 2008 he has been the Managing Director of the Energy Policy department.
Nicole Kaim-Albers is the head of office at the Weltenergierat – Deutschland. Nicole is working at the interface between the national and international level, as well as between the public and the private energy sector. Holding a Master’s degree in European Studies, Nicole studied at Universities in Bremen, Krakow, Bath, Paris and Berlin.
Energy in Germany
This year’s snapshot of Germany’s energy landscape shows adjustments in perceptions around the impact and urgency of issues, as they shift between the Uncertainty and the Action areas. In all cases, the integration of intermittent renewables leads priorities and concerns for both public and private sectors.
EU Cohesion ceases to be an Action Priority for Germany and becomes a Critical Uncertainty. Brexit and rising nationalism are perceived as risks for enhanced European cooperation. Nonetheless, the new European Commission has said that it will focus on negotiating a New Green Deal aiming to establish Europe as the first zero emission continent. Its purpose is to generate prosperity by exporting innovative technology, expert knowledge and best practice examples.
Digitalisation also ceases to be an Action Priority to become a Critical Uncertainty. Information and communication technologies are critically needed to enable Germany’s Energiewende which strongly relies on the integration of intermittent renewables. As the share of these resources continue on an upward trend, business and policy strategies are still to be defined for incorporating digital technologies in the most cost-efficient way and enabling the role of the energy ‘prosumer.’
US Policy is seen as a higher impact issue, reflecting not only opposing levels of urgency attributed by both countries to address the climate challenge, but also tensions around the Gazprom Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project connecting Russia to Germany. Other issues which have an impact on the energy sector are US Sanctions on European goods, its geopolitical role in the Middle East, trade protectionism and persistently failing trade negotiations with China.
Energy Efficiency is perceived with a smaller impact but still as an Action Priority. Germany has an energy efficiency target of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020 and by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. Although the near-term objectives are unlikely to be met, reforms are being discussed to accelerate progress, as tax support for efficiency in buildings.
Climate Framework becomes an Action Priority thanks to reduced uncertainty around this issue. The Germany Coal Commission proposed a gradual phase out of over 42GW of coal-fired power plants until 2038. The new climate protection package, the most prominent political action plan in autumn 2019, establishes over 60 measures on how different sectors including transport, agriculture, and industry could lower their respective CO2 emissions. Measures include a price on CO2 for fossil fuels in a national emission trading system.
Energy Subsidies are perceived with low uncertainty and greater impact, becoming an Action Priority. Germany is under pressure to align its economic objectives with its climate targets, and this has led to the stimulation of an increasingly competitive energy market. Since 2016, feed-in-tariffs for renewable generation have been gradually replaced by competitive tenders. However, investments in new energy generation capacities are on hold under the current market design. In particular, the expansion of onshore wind energy has nearly stopped.
The 2019 Germany Energy Issues map focuses on the political framework (EU Cohesion, Climate Framework, Market Design), energy technologies to enable decarbonisation (Renewables, E-Storage and Innovative Transport, and Energy Efficiency) and also innovation (IoT/Blockchain and Digitalisation). Energy leaders in Germany emphasize a strong reduction of critical uncertainties in comparison with recent years. Therefore, action priorities are currently the focus of the sector, which is a clear signal of an ongoing transition, which addresses obstacles and works on improvements.