During October, November and December of 2016, IJP - in cooperation with Clean Energy Wire - offered a 4-day study trip to Germany for foreign alumni only. This option applied to the alumni of the Southern African Bursary, the Turkey Fellowship, the Latin-American Programme as well as the Programme for Asia and the Arthur F. Burns Programme for the United States.
For four days alumni will took part in a special program related to the so-called Energie-Wende (energy transition) policy of the German government. Germany has become a laboratory for exploring the path to a sustainable energy system. It is phasing out the use of nuclear power and introducing renewable energy. At the same time it has set ambitious climate targets and has to reduce emissions from coal power and transport – while increasing energy efficiency significantly. This policy is reshaping one of the world’s largest economies – in 2015, renewables already made up a third of the power consumed in the country. There are many puzzles to solve and obstacles to overcome in the process, including changes to the grid infrastructure and management, new business models for power producers and economic transition strategies for sectors and regions. With no predefined master plan for guidance, answers to these challenges are subject to lively political debates.
The study tour presented a broad range of perspectives on the challenges of transforming conventional energy systems, allowing participants a deep dive into the policy debate.