California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference 2018

How does climate change impact the energy system in California? How could climate-neutral power supply be guaranteed? Participants at the second bilateral energy conference between Germany and the State of California discussed these questions on 11 September 2018.


The California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference (CGBEC) was an official side event to Governor Jerry Brown’s well recognised Global Climate Action Summit. The focus of this year’s conference was on the interaction between climate change and the energy sector. The Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Bareiß stressed the importance of the energy partnership between Germany and California.

The first panel of the day discussed the impacts of climate change on the energy system in California, as well as the possibility to switch to climate-neutral power supply. This session featured Dr. Simone Peter, President of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE), and Caroline Choi, Senior Vice President of Southern California Edison. Participants at the conference touched on the expansion of renewable energies as well as advancing strategies that render the power system more flexible. Participants further highlighted the importance of maintaining the broad social consensus on the energy transition.

In the second part of the conference, participants examined the decarbonisation of the transportation sector. Drew Kodjak, Executive Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and Christian Hochfeld, Director of Agora Verkehrswende participated in this discussion. It highlighted the pros and cons of electric and hydrogen-fuelled mobility, the infrastructure required for this, as well as suitable support programmes. This was inspired by Amory Loving, who highlighted the immense potential of energy efficiency for the future, and Bertrand Piccard, who introduced his initiative supporting start-ups that provide solutions for the energy transition and climate protection.

The event was carried out by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the California Energy Commission and other Californian authorities, with the support of adelphi. adelphi and the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) organised the event 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 BMWi.

Further information on the conference program and the presentations is available here.