Dialogue Agenda

Preliminary Agenda – subject to last-minute changes

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DAY 1, Tuesday 24 March 2020
Geopolitics GeopoliticsGreen Economy Green Economy




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Peter Altmaier

Dr Linda Davis

Dr Ursula von der Leyen

Heiko Maas
This session will set the scene with the official opening of the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2020 by the German Federal Government. Following the ministerial speeches, the President of the European Commission will present the European Green Deal. IEA and IRENA will then provide an outlook towards 2050.

  • Peter Altmaier
  • Dr Linda Davis
  • Dr Ursula von der Leyen
  • Heiko Maas
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    Green Economy Green EconomyInternational Cooperation International CooperationTrade Trade

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    Dr Linda Davis
    There is a global agreement on reaching climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve this, the world needs a Global Green Deal with the transformation of the energy system at its heart. There is no middle way when it comes to combating emissions, and more than just energy is involved. One cannot argue with physics. How can we make economies and societies climate neutral? What are the implications for global trade? Which framework is needed to trigger a wide-ranging green stimulus? How will it change supply chains? How can we deliver on the different responsibilities and options of the global North and South? The transition to a green economy must be integrative, inclusive and holistic. What are the most promising concepts and what should be the next steps towards green transformation?

  • Dr Linda Davis
  • Green Economy Green EconomyIndustry Industry
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    The energy transition is a millennium project with enormous benefits and opportunities for national economies. Setting the course for the energy transition will create employment, guarantee low and stable energy prices, and therefore offer attractive opportunities for companies with a higher energy demand. Through this structural transformation of the energy transition, national economies create invincible location advantages. National initiatives to support the private sector in research and development will additionally support a positive structural change. This session will illustrate the economic benefits for countries transitioning their energy production from conventional to renewable energies and present examples of companies supporting the transition of the energy system.

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    Green Economy Green EconomyLocal Action Local Action

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    Dr Linda Davis
    The Paris Agreement asks each country to set national emission reduction targets and to develop a set of domestic measures towards achieving its long-term goals. These are known as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In order to implement the NDCs, the climate goals need to be “translated” into concrete policy approaches, rules and regulations, public budgets and investment plans – both at the sectoral and sub-national levels. Sub-national players such as states, regions and cities are key actors in driving forward the energy transition by shaping low-carbon lifestyles and economic practices, building resilient infrastructure and developing social systems for a carbon-neutral future. However, clear and determined leadership and strong support by national governments is crucial in order to unleash the full transformative potential of subnational actors. The aim of this session is to discuss how the Paris Agreement can be translated into programmes and concrete measures for implementation at the local level and to explore the role of national governments in supporting local actors.

  • Dr Linda Davis
  • Geopolitics GeopoliticsInternational Cooperation International CooperationTrade Trade
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    The energy transition requires regional cooperation among EU Member States and with third countries in order to tap into the full potential of renewable energy. The North Sea Offshore Grid is one key example of a regional cooperation scheme. In 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherland, Sweden, the United-Kingdom (joined by Norway a year later) to facilitate the efficient use of renewable energy and the building of new infrastructure for a North Sea Offshore Grid. In 2017, Morocco, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal signed a roadmap on sustainable electricity trade, in the presence of the European Commission, aimed at identifying the barriers to renewable electricity trade between the five countries across the Mediterranean Sea. The goal of this session will be to use these two examples to explore the role of regional cooperation schemes on renewable energy in view of reaching the 2030 renewable energy target.

    Energy Efficiency Energy EfficiencyGreen Economy Green EconomyIndustry Industry
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    The industrial sector is both a global economic powerhouse and a major emitter of greenhouse gas emissions: industry emits about 28 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, of which 90 percent are CO2 emissions. In order to accelerate the global energy transition, industrial sectors must be decarbonised. Key areas of transforming industries are heavy industries such as steel, cement and chemicals, where renewables can be put to direct use. Another area is the interplay with the grid, where the industrial sector has huge potential for flexibility through demand-side management (DSM).

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    Hydrogen HydrogenInternational Cooperation International CooperationRenewable Fuels Renewable Fuels

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    Dr Linda Davis
    It may prove difficult to achieve the complete decarbonisation of various industrial sectors such as buildings, power or transport purely by means of electricity. One of the major advantages of hydrogen is that it is a versatile all-rounder for a host of applications. Renewable electricity can be used to produce hydrogen, which in turn can provide energy. Moreover, hydrogen produced from renewable electricity using electrolyser could facilitate the integration of high levels of variable renewable energy into the energy system, offering a flexible load and providing grid-balancing services. Hydrogen could therefore be the missing link in the energy transition. As key hydrogen technologies are maturing (fuel cell vehicles, syngas etc.), hydrogen from renewables can help tackle various critical energy challenges. In particular, it could offer ways to decarbonise a range of sectors where it is proving difficult to meaningfully reduce CO2 emissions. All these aspects require the implementation of a forward-looking legal, political and technical regulatory framework. This session will provide an overview of challenges and opportunities entailed in the large-scale application of hydrogen technologies.

  • Dr Linda Davis
  • Decentralisation DecentralisationDigitalisation Digitalisation
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    Market design is still very much determined and restricted by concerns regarding the security and quality of the energy supply. But how justified are these concerns in an age of ever-increasing digitalisation, despite the current limitations of existing grid and ICT infrastructure? And are these concerns rooted more in persistent and antediluvian patterns of thought inherited from the old centralist, hierarchical and exclusive energy world than founded on the actual limitations of grid and ICT infrastructure? In addition, this session will address the inherent risks of new technologies for the energy transition, for example, new monopolies and new (digital) barriers that might exclude small-scale stakeholders like prosumers from engaging in a profitable way in the energy markets of the future.

    Hydrogen HydrogenRenewable Fuels Renewable FuelsTransport Transport
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    Aviation and shipping are two sectors that contribute tremendously to mobility, economic development and technological progress. At the same time, they pose major challenges to reducing emissions due to their structural reliance on oil-based fuels. Maritime transport emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually, while one billion litres of kerosene are used worldwide in jet engines every single day. The energy transition presents both wide-ranging challenges and opportunities for the aviation and freight industries. As the demand for aviation and shipping is increasing worldwide, decarbonising these two strategic sectors will play a critical role in achieving climate objectives. This session will investigate barriers to energy efficiency in the shipping and aviation industries and reveal the potential for improvement. It will shed light on new approaches and promising technological solutions. The discussion will bring together policymakers and industry leaders, who together will examine and explain the steps needed to create the mobility sector of the future.

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    DAY 2, Wednesday 25 March 2020
    Digitalisation DigitalisationGeopolitics GeopoliticsGrid GridInternational Cooperation International Cooperation

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    Dr Linda Davis
    Cooperation on transnational grid infrastructure can drive the global energy transition by opening up national energy markets for the export and import of cheap electricity produced by renewables. As a result of plummeting electricity prices due to renewables, renewables themselves will become increasingly attractive for markets that are currently still dominated by conventional power generation. In addition, transnational grid infrastructure can foster regional stability while curbing current geopolitical dependencies in energy. It can help to dissolve and prevent energy isolation and asymmetric energy dependencies alike. However, this comes with new vulnerabilities. As the energy transition promises a future free of carbon-related geopolitics, grid infrastructure is increasingly targeted by hybrid warfare interventions. Ranging from cyberattacks to complex and highly coordinated disinformation campaigns, such interventions aim to prevent any political consensus on the build-up of transnational grid infrastructure by influencing the opinion of entire populations.

  • Dr Linda Davis
  • Geopolitics GeopoliticsIndustry Industry
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    Decentralisation DecentralisationSocial Support Social Support

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    Dr Linda Davis
    While the past year saw a growing number of demonstrations across the world in support of the energy transition, this process brings with it a number of challenges in the form of increased investments, energy costs and new infrastructure. Certain initiatives show inspiring ways to address these challenges while fighting energy poverty and favouring citizen empowerment. This session aims to explore these and showcase best practices that are applicable to various countries.

  • Dr Linda Davis
  • Carbon Pricing Carbon PricingGreen Finance Green FinanceTrade Trade
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    Pricing greenhouse gas emissions is a way to put a price tag on the costs of their negative externalities in order to reduce and remove market distortions. Tools range from voluntary compensation, via taxation and special levies and fees to different trading schemes, and their implementation varies geographically. A border-adjustment tax would help adjust prices across the variety of schemes to avoid carbon leakage and resulting market distortions. What impact do different CO2 pricing mechanisms and adjustment taxes have on global trade?

    Decentralisation DecentralisationEnergy Efficiency Energy EfficiencyHeating HeatingRenewable Fuels Renewable Fuels
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    Green Economy Green EconomyGreen Finance Green Finance

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    Dr Linda Davis
    Governments and financial supervisors are increasingly recognising the importance of sustainable finance in achieving financial stability and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. Green and innovative finance models and a shift away from carbon-intensive assets are a vital funding stream for investments. Green standards could help identify which projects are in line with the energy transition and to align investments accordingly.

  • Dr Linda Davis
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    The start-up energy transition session will bring together the winners of the Start-Up Energy Transition Award and experts in providing public and private funding, who will discuss available options and how to access funding. Meanwhile, start-ups will share their insights on the challenges they experienced while looking for and accessing funding. At the SET Tech Festival, start-ups from different countries and cultures are represented, reflecting different opportunities and challenges. This session will offer the chance to share experiences and information about all options and to get helpful inspiration from the winners.

    Energy Efficiency Energy EfficiencyGreen Finance Green Finance
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    Buildings account for more than 30% of global final energy consumption, and are thus some of the largest consumers of energy in the world. With future demographic increases forecast, this figure is set to rise. Currently, the main focus of building policies is often on new buildings. However, the potential lies, at least in the Northern hemisphere, in existing buildings. And this sector is in dire need of fresh money for investments in renovation. In a parallel set of events, there is growing discussion in international public banks, such as the European Investment Bank, on the need to help large-scale investors and pension funds diversify their portfolios. Insurance companies are in fact hit in two ways by climate change, firstly by more significant damages to insured properties and secondly by the loss of profitable dividends such as investments in the oil sector. Linking these two processes, what can be done to redirect global private investments to the building sector?

    Decentralisation DecentralisationGreen Economy Green Economy

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    Dr Linda Davis
    The closing session is organised as a fireside chat between two leading figures. Global challenges, risks and uncertainties are associated with the energy transition and closely linked to profound changes and innovations in multiple sectors. Different narratives and framings – regarding, for example, a bold transition or a status quo – compete against each other. Will the storytelling from fossil dependency to low carbon development renewables align? The objective of this one-on-one discussion is to make sense of opposing energy transition narratives and to provoke unconventional thinking on a meta level regarding the highly complex energy transition. This format aims to create a challenging and enlightening dialogue and set expectations for the future. Different modelling assumptions lead to different conclusions. Contrasting narratives about energy and sustainability in general may be useful for enriching points of view in the discussion on energy policies.

  • Dr Linda Davis
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