After the Heat Comes the Labour Dispute
Comment by Vivianne Rau
News publ. 13. Dec 2019
South Korea wants to make the energy transition happen and would like to learn from Germany. A South Korean delegation took a study trip to Berlin to learn more. In particular, they gained insight into energy efficiency measures in industry and the building sector.
A four-day study trip took place in Berlin in early December. The goal: promote dialogue between Germany and Korea on the subject of energy efficiency. A South Korean delegation of 24 people from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), subordinate institutions, the state electricity supplier KEPCO, research institutes and news organisations visited the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as well as several large companies. The delegation gained detailed insight into energy efficiency measures in the German industry and building sectors.
Initially, various experts from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) offered the participants a broad overview of energy efficiency measures in the industrial and construction sectors. In the days that followed, representatives from business and research presented lectures on application-oriented challenges, such as the development of energy efficiency networks (BDI), energy savings in energy-intensive companies (Covestro AG), and the structure and function of lending programs (KfW).
The delegation was very interested in the presentations and asked many questions. The cost of the energy transition is a particularly important factor for South Korea, and participants often discussed the economic viability of the energy initiatives. They also raised the problem of acceptance numerous times. This includes not only the social acceptance of the energy efficiency initiatives, but also the willingness of private industry to undergo energy audits, for example.
On-site visits supplemented and enriched the numerous lectures, offering participants an idea of how energy efficiency measures are used in practice in industry and in buildings. Visits included the Berlin location of Robert Bosch GmbH, the EUREF Campus and the Vattenfall Refrigeration Centre.
The numerous inquiries and lively discussions made clear that the study trip had been a success, and both sides expressed great interest in continuing the exchange.
The study trip was organized by adelphi on behalf of the BMWi as part of the project to support the German-Korean energy dialogue and in coordination with AHK Korea and the East Asia Association (oav).
In its third energy master plan, South Korea has committed to pushing ahead with its energy transition in order to pave the way for sustainable growth and an improved quality of life. The plan has a strong focus on energy saving potential through increased energy efficiency. This is also a cornerstone of the German energy transition and therefore a relevant focus for the exchange of experience and information.
In the future, Germany and Korea plan to institutionalize and intensify the energy dialogue in the form of an official energy partnership. Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Yunmo Sung, Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea, signed a declaration to this effect in Berlin on 10 December 2019.