International Relations

The Energiewende Lecture

The ENERGIEWENDE – Transformation of the German Energy System

Download the Lecture Slides Here

Germany is widely seen as an ecological forerunner and pioneer in the application of renewable sources of energy. The Government has decided to fully overhaul the country’s energy supply system by moving away at the same time from nuclear energy and coal in favor of renewable energy sources – an effort termed Energiewende, or energy transition. The Energiewende is Germany’s path to a secure, environmentally friendly and economically successful future.

The energy system transformation and changes in energy policy is attracting great attention abroad, both in politics and in business, and is being followed with interest but also skepticism. In order to dispel concerns about the feasibility of this endeavor and to motivate partner countries worldwide to follow the path to a carbon neutral economy, the German Federal Foreign Office and the Embassies and Consulates serve as channels for the supply of factual information on the energy system transformation to interested target groups abroad.

As part of a series of events to promote and advocate for the German energy transition, the General Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Vancouver, in collaboration with the University of Alberta, the Renewables Academy (RENAC) and the Federal Environmental Environment Agency (UBA) hosted a lecture lecture on the status and challenges of the energy transition in Germany.

The event is an outcome of the close collaboration between UAlberta (UAI, VPRI Office and FES), the General Consulate of Germany in Vancouver, the German Embassy in Ottawa and the Renewables Academy (RENAC) in Berlin.

The RENAC  is one of the leading international providers for training and capacity building on renewable energy and energy efficiency who closely works with the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, with the German Foreign Affairs Office and other federal agencies in Germany.

Originally the idea of the event was discussed at the meeting of Dr. Matthias Ruth (Vice-President Research and Innovation) and Dr. Alex Kuznetsov (Regional Manager, Europe) with German Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser in Ottawa in May 2019.  One of the key goals of the event was to learn from one of the leading German experts Dr. Harry Lehmann about the current status and challenges of the Energiewende in Germany and  use those insights  for understanding the potential trajectories for development of the future energy systems in Alberta and Canada. 

The format of the event has been chosen as a live lecture due to a big symbolic meaning – first of all, to avoid the negative impact of Dr. Lehmann's air travel to Canada and  secondly this webinar format allowed significantly to expand the audience for this lecture.