Another highlight of the German-Californian energy dialogue

At the third California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference in San Diego, 200 high-level decision makers and energy experts from Germany, California and other states met to discuss, among other topics, the role of grid-connected storage in making the energy sector more flexible.


California and Germany are global pioneers in energy system transformation and face comparable opportunities and challenges. Both have ambitious climate targets and focus on energy efficiency and renewables to achieve them. As they progress towards a power system with high shares of variable renewable energy sources, their systems need more flexibility. Grid-connected energy storage, electric vehicles, grid expansion, exchange with neighbouring states and demand response are some of the tools that can help achieve this. The aim of this bilateral conference is to promote an exchange of experience in these fields and to identify areas of cooperation.

High-level speakers underline the importance of this exchange

This year’s conference was co-located with the Energy Storage North America, the largest energy storage trade fair in the U.S. The CGBEC focused on the long-term prospects for the energy sector in Germany and California and on flexibility options for the power systems.

The high-level speakers included Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California, Director-General Thorsten Herdan from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Toni G. Atkins, Senate President pro Tempore of the California State Senate, Cliff Rechtschaffen, Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission, Dr. Dirk Biermann, Managing Director Markets and Systems Operations at 50Hertz, and Thomas Speidel, President of the German Energy Storage Association. Director-General Herdan as well as David Hochschild, Chair of the California Energy Commission, acknowledged the importance of the energy policy dialogue between Germany and California and have already announced the fourth CGBEC in 2020.

In addition to many substantive discussions, the conference served to deepen and consolidate contacts and working relationships between German and Californian experts and decision-makers from energy policy and industry. The one-day conference brought together high-ranking experts from politics, science, think tanks and business.

Background information on the event

More information on the programme and presentations can be found here.

The event was organized by adelphi and the German American Chambers of Commerce (GACC) as part of the project "Supporting the German federal government in its energy dialogues with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA" on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).