U.S. and German approaches to energy and climate change have undergone significant change in recent years. New technologies such as “fracking,” higher efficiency standards, and national energy strategies like the “Energiewende” have an impact at the local, regional, and international levels. AICGS explores where both countries can learn and cooperate on questions of energy policy, energy security, and climate change.

Energy and climate policy in the U.S. and in Germany seem to be miles apart. In 2011, Germany decided to phase-out nuclear, whereas in early 2012 the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the first license to build and operate an extension of a nuclear power plant for the first time since 1978. Americans view the …Read More

Industrial countries like the U.S., Japan, and Germany depend on a functioning electricity grid as the backbone of their economies and way of life. Impediments to the electricity grid not only harm the economy and hurt the bottom line; they can also cause loss of life and hamper a country’s ability to react to a large-scale catastrophe.

Aki Kachi

The U.S. and West Germany once shared similar energy profiles and similar global energy challenges. Through the 1960s and in the beginning of the 1970s, with largely comparable energy mixes, they both saw themselves as vulnerable to oil shocks and in 1974, were both founding members of the International Energy Agency.  At that point, however, …Read More

Wizardry to some, anathema to others, geoengineering—or climate engineering—is slowly encroaching on the territory of traditional climate policy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) next Assessment Report, due in 2013/14, will cover “the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment”[1] as a potential strategy to counteract man-made climate change. Technological solutions are increasingly seen …Read More

In his presentation at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Reinhard Hüttl discussed the results of the German federal government-appointed Ethics Commission for a Safe Energy Supply before engaging in a lively discussion with participants on the chances and challenges that today’s energy transition presents. The Commission for a …Read More

The anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima prompts Non-Resident Fellow to look for an energy policy that is “economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.”

This essay examines recent developments in European energy policy and analyzes improvements and shortcomings of energy security, primarily in the field of fossil fuels. It argues that Europe has successfully addressed some external energy security risks, the gravest problems of energy security currently originate inside Europe itself due to insufficient funding of necessary infrastructure projects.

Could Germany be holding Europe back from presenting a clear-cut foreign policy? In a commentary originally published with the Körber Stiftung entitled Deutschlands Außenpolitik aus europäischer Perspektive, Dr. Ulrich Speck, Global Europe Publicist and former AICGS Fellow, explains what Germany’s unpredictable foreign policy, unlike those of Paris and London, could mean for Europe.

While the aviation sector had been exempt from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), in January 2012 the EU ETS will be expanded to fully include international flights arriving at or departing from an EU airport. This AICGS Spotlight provides background information on the issue, implications for Germany, the United States, and transatlantic relations as well as potential future development.

On December 16, 2011, the American Institute for Contemporary Studies (AICGS) hosted a discussion on “European Energy Security: Achievements, Shortcomings, and Potential Improvements.” During the seminar, Mr. Arne Schröer, DAAD/AICGS Fellow, argued that not only does European energy policy have problems in identifying challenges and solving them, but also that Europe’s energy policy is very …Read More

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