New Horizons for the Energy Partnership

NEA and NDRC participated in the fifth Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) in Berlin (9-10 April). High-level bilateral talks between State Secretary Andreas Feicht (BMWi) and Vice Minister Lin Shanqing (NEA) and the fifth meeting of the Sino-German Working Group on Energy Efficiency (BMWi and NDRC) marked the highlights for the Sino-German Energy Partnership.

“Energiewende – New Horizons” was not only this year’s maxim at the fifth Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) convened at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin from April 9 to 10, but also describes the quality of bilateral talks successfully held between German and Chinese high-level representatives and the progress achieved for the Sino-German cooperation on energy and energy efficiency.

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2019

The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) held for the fifth consecutive time at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, marks the annual highlight for high-level policy makers and industry leaders from around the globe to discuss their vision and way forward towards a global Energiewende (energy transition). Mr. Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Mr. Heiko Maas, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, opened the conference greeting more than 50 ministers and state secretaries, 2000 participants and 120 international speakers. In their speeches, the German ministers emphasized the need for a global energy transition to tackle climate change, discussed the geopolitical changes and the business opportunities associated with the Energiewende. Mr. Altmaier laid out a most ambitious plan for phasing-out coal that will radically cut the greenhouse gas emissions stemming from Germany’s energy sector until the late 2030s. Earlier this year, Germany’s “Coal Comission” – a commission consisting of representatives from affected regions, labor unions, academia, politics and industry – had laid out a plan to phase-out Germany’s coal power generation by 2038 at the latest.

Vice Minister Lin Shanqing, National Energy Administration of the PR China (NEA), discussed China’s solutions for the Energy Revolution on the panel “Mission Possible – Challenges and Solutions for the Energy Transition”. Mr. Lin emphasized China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and the NEA’s devotion to contribute to reaching China’s emission peaks by 2030. China was already today at the global forefront of renewable energy installations, and locally PV on-grid prices had already reached the levels of coal-power plants, Mr. Lin stated.

Representing the State Grid Energy Research Institute (SGERI), SGERI Vice President Ms. Jiang Liping, contributed to the discussion on “The Future Energy Powerhouses” that gave an insight on what implications the shift from fossil fuels to renewables has on individual countries and the global balance of power associated with global energy supply chains.

This year’s trending topics at the BETD included the geopolitical shifts associated with a global energy transition, challenges and opportunities for a sustainable energy transformation, new opportunities through digitalization, cyber security, sector coupling, mobility and power-to-X (PtX), (green) financing and future markets.

Bilateral talks and exchange between Germany and China

Solutions for the energy transition were also part of the bilateral talks between BMWi State Secretary Andreas Feicht and Vice Minister Lin. Furthermore, both sides discussed the status-quo and outlook as well as the potentials for further deepening the bilateral ties on energy. The fifth meeting of the Sino-German Working Group “Energy Efficiency” on April 11 between BMWi and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) marked another highlight for deepening the bilateral cooperation on energy conservation.

Apart from talks on a political level, the Sino-German Energy Partnership organized several field trips for the Chinese delegations, such as a visit to German innovative renewable energy and power-to-gas developer ENERTRAG or Gasag’s Energiewerkstatt (energy workshop) showcasing a state-of-the-art district energy system at EUREF-campus in Berlin. Here, Chinese representatives seized the opportunity to exchange with German technology providers on the status-quo and future of energy businesses and solutions in Germany, as well as cooperation potentials with China.

BETD panel “Mission Possible – Challenges and Solutions for the Energy Transition”, ©BETD2019

BETD panel “Mission Possible – Challenges and Solutions for the Energy Transition”, ©BETD2019

NEA Vice Minister Lin Shanqing at BETD panel “Mission Possible – Challenges and Solutions for the Energy Transition”, ©BETD2019

NEA Vice Minister Lin Shanqing at BETD panel “Mission Possible – Challenges and Solutions for the Energy Transition”, ©BETD2019

BETD panel “Mission Possible – Challenges and Solutions for the Energy Transition”, ©BETD2019

BETD panel “Mission Possible – Challenges and Solutions for the Energy Transition”, ©BETD2019

Bilateral dialogue between State Secretary Andreas Feicht (BMWi) and Vice Minister Lin Shanqing (NEA),  ©GIZ

Bilateral dialogue between State Secretary Andreas Feicht (BMWi) and Vice Minister Lin Shanqing (NEA), ©GIZ