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Summer Academy 2012: Energy Transition


The Summer Academy aims to act as an interdisciplinary and intergenerational forum for highly qualified young researchers and professionals working on energy and/or environment issues. By incorporating professionals from the business sector, the event creates a much-needed link between research and industry as both sides are able to learn from and influence each other in a mutually beneficial manner: ensuring the relevance of research carried out and employing practices based on the latest findings. After all, the value of scientific findings and policy solutions ultimately lies in their practical application.

Each year, the event addresses a topical issue in the field of energy and the environment. This year’s event ‘Energy Transition: Expansion and Integration of Renewable Energy Sources’ addresses the challenges surrounding the evolution of energy supply, moving from a traditional, fossil-fuel based energy system to a renewable-based one. Speakers and participants may submit an academic paper about their topic for publication in the annual Summer Academy proceedings, published by Lexxion. This Berlin publisher is known for its wide range of renowned international journals, such as the Carbon Climate Law Review (CCLR) and the Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review (RELP).

This year, the 9th International Summer Academy ‘Energy and the Environment’ is taking place in Greifswald and Berlin from 21 to 28 July 2012. The topic of the conference is ‘Energy Transition: Expansion and Integration of Renewable Energy Sources’. Participants from all over the world will gather in the charming coastal town of Greifswald on Saturday the 21st. The Academy will be hosted here for the weekend at the historical campus and conference rooms of its original academic home base: the University of Greifswald. Participants are free to arrive at a time of their convenience, and will get the chance to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and white beaches of Greifswald. In the evening the Academy invites participants to a welcome dinner.

Sunday will start with an introductory workshop. In the light of Germany’s radical move away from nuclear, the Academy has arranged an afternoon visit to the nuclear reactor Lubmin, before closure the largest nuclear plant in East Germany. After a joint dinner, participants can have a drink in the town centre, or gather their strength for the intense upcoming program in Berlin.

On Monday the 23rd the Academy will move to Berlin, where the applied research institute IKEM (Institute for Climate protection, Energy & Mobility) has set up a comprehensive 5-day program of seminars and lectures. In the heart of the Berlin, participants will accumulate and exchange knowledge on the multiple interdisciplinary challenges surrounding renewable energy integration in IKEM’s luxurious conference facilities.


Monday – 23 July

World energy consumption:


Underlying causes, future trends and case studies

The world’s energy landscape is changing dramatically. Resources are becoming increasingly scarce, while industrialisation and modernisation are causing energy consumption in developing countries to grow. Energy supply and energy demand are moving in opposite directions in the constraining context of climate change and a weak financial world market. The aim of today’s program is to come to a full understanding of the current state of the energy sector, and the political and economic considerations that shape it.

Tuesday– 24 July

Legal and policy framework:


Sustainable energy and climate protection

The day will start with an overview of the climate and energy policy framework currently in place on an international level. The Kyoto Protocol’s actual effect on the energy sector will be examined, and its likely predecessor will be presented. Prickly issues of potential trade distortion will also be discussed. The conference’s scope will then narrow down from international to regional, with an overview of the EU’s energy strategy and target, and the instruments it employs along the way. An overview of the most-often used legal promotional instruments will be given, with recommendations as to what is best suited to which national context, and why. It is striking that the EU’s 2 largest economies, France and Germany, are now pursuing very different strategies with regard to nuclear energy. The reasons behind these diverging policies will be discussed, followed by policy lessons from the development and regression of the solar sector in Germany.

Wednesday– 25 July

RES integration:


Practical potential of new technologies

Wednesday is dedicated to new energy technologies, and to existing technologies that have not yet reached their full potential. Energy efficiency is one such technology and the day will start with this topic. The bulk of the energy consumed in today’s society generally still comes from large-scale power plants. These need no longer follow the traditional polluting model generally associated with the term: New, cleaner versions are already operational and will play a big role in the energy transition. Combined heat and power, hybrid and virtual plants will therefore be examined too, as well as maritime energy options like tidal power.

Electric cars have many obstacles to overcome, from range concerns to doubts about their efficiency in reducing CO2 emissions. A case study by Better Place will shed more light on this issue, after which the conference will address the important role of energy storage (power-to-gas) in the integration process of RES. Finally, a group discussion will shed light on the practical reality of RES integration and the different approaches each country takes to foster it.

Thursday– 26 July

Network challenges of RES integration:

Grid expansion, stabilization and upgrades

Thursday focuses on the topic of energy grids, covering exciting new grid technologies such as the smart grid and the super grid. The major challenges, however, lie within our existing energy network: Further integration of RES is not possible without an expansion and reinforcement of current infrastructure. What’s more, grid expansion often faces resistance of the population of the area through which the network runs, adding additional financial strain on an already expensive and time-consuming operation. Today will examine the current state and shortcoming of the energy network and address the legal, technological and economic aspects of possible solutions.

Friday – 27 July

Generation, Storage and Integration:


Renewable Energy Sources in the Baltic Sea Region

The last day of the Summer Academy will be marked by a public conference hosted by IKEM and Becker Büttner Held. Large players in regional policy-making and the energy industry will join the Academy at this occasion. The knowledge acquired during the week will be put to practice in the context of the Baltic Sea. The region is a rich mix of political and economic history, culture, natural resources and of course, energy policy. Starting with a deeper understanding of the political and historical forces that shaped the region’s energy landscape, the conference will zoom in on the challenges faced by the region’s most promising RES: Offshore wind. A contrasting regulatory environment to the Baltic will be analyzed in a case study on Navitus Bay in the English Channel. The day will end with an inspiring cross-border network case study and storage solutions to intermittency. Lessons learned from the Baltic Sea region have a global applicability, and participants are encouraged to use the final panel discussion round to get to most out of the convergence of expertise this day.

Synergy between participants and teaching faculty

Participants will be included in the proceedings through dynamic exchanges and challenging Q&A rounds with the teaching faculty. Their contribution to the quality of the discussions is ensured by their academic and professional achievements, as well as their diverse disciplinary and cultural backgrounds. One speaking slot a day is reserved for a participant to present his or her research and findings from the field. Moreover, participants have the opportunity to submit a (academic) paper for publication in the annually published Summer Academy proceedings of Lexxion. This Berlin publisher is known for its wide range of renowned international journals, such as the Carbon Climate Law Review (CCLR) and the Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review (RELP).


IKEM – Institut für Klimaschutz, Energie und Mobilität e.V.