Editor’s note: This article introduces the first Policy Brief Series that among other things, provides best practices the U.S. and Germany have found for integrating renewable energy into each country’s national grid.
Restructuring our energy systems to achieve sustainable, affordable and secure energy supply is one of the major challenges and opportunities of our time. This applies equally to the U.S. and to Germany. The U.S. administration and numerous U.S. states have launched progressive initiatives on developing sustainable energy systems. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the German government adopted the “Energiewende.” This Energiewende—the transformation of our energy system—is a comprehensive reform program for our energy markets based on the expansion of renewable energies, integration of electricity grids and improved energy efficiency.
On the road to an environmentally sound energy system it is crucial that we share views and experience internationally, and that we learn from each other. Since 2008 the Transatlantic Climate Bridge has provided a forum for dialogue between the U.S. and Germany on climate and energy policy.
This transatlantic initiative addresses key aspects of climate change and energy policy by promoting exchanges on political and technological solutions. It covers issues such as emissions trading, incentive systems for renewable energies, technological trends and financing for renewables and energy efficiency measures.
With the U.S.-German Clean Energy Leadership Series we are now launching a series of dialogues to provide a clear picture of key elements of Germany’s Energiewende and innovative developments in the US. One focal area is to identify best practices to enable both countries to develop new ideas for our mutual benefit.
Our cooperation partners, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and Ecofys, will publish a new contribution to discussions every two months. We look forward to a lively exchange between stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic.
–Dr. Karsten Sach
Deputy Director-General, International Cooperation
German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
In June 2013, the President put forward a Climate Action Plan, outlining a wide array of steps his Administration is taking to cut carbon pollution and develop and deploy clean energy technologies in the United States and globally. The plan touches all aspects of the U.S. economy, from tackling methane emissions in agriculture, energy, and waste management to reducing carbon pollution from power plants and heavy-duty vehicles, to adapting to the consequences of the climate changes we are already seeing.
The U.S. Climate Action Plan also recognizes the global nature of the climate problem, and outlines a series of international actions the U.S. will take to support a global solution. For example, working with other major countries around the world, the U.S. launched and continues to strongly support the Major Economies Forum and the Clean Energy Ministerial. This latter initiative convenes energy ministers from major economies and other energy leaders around the world to advance technologies and policies to enhance energy efficiency in buildings, build a 21st century electricity grid, improve energy access, and more.
The United States’ partnership with other countries actively leading in clean energy, especially Germany, has never been more important. For decades, Germany has championed the research, development, and has never been more important. For decades, Germany has also championed the deployment of clean energy technologies and backed them with innovative policies.
A continued, robust transatlantic dialogue can benefit us both—as mutual trade partners, research collaborators, and allies in developing policy responses to climate impacts and emission reductions. This US-German Clean Energy Leadership Series provides a constructive and informative contribution to this vital dialogue.
–Dr. Jonathan Pershing
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Change & Deputy Director, Office of Policy
US Department of Energy
The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of C2ES and Ecofys.
Filed Under: News, Policy