The second Czech-German Young Professionals Program (CGYPP) seminar of 2015 aimed to provide insight into the Czech-German dimension of energy policy and related topics.
The seminar was divided into three parts: the first focused on the policy side of the energy issue, i.e. how is energy policy designed both in the Czech Republic and Germany, who are the key players, the role of the public, and perhaps most significantly, what kind of evolution we may expect in the sphere of energy policies as well as energy markets. The second part was dedicated to different dimensions of energy—above all, the role of personal energy and its sources. Lastly, the third part was devoted to the participants and their teamwork, particularly their group projects currently in progress and team-building activities in a cooking studio.
As for the first, policy-related, part of the seminar, it started in Leipzig with a workshop on the perceptions of the Czech and German energy policies and the roles of key stakeholders. During group work, participants discussed the decision-making processes of the Czech and German energy policies, their similarities and differences. The second day of the seminar was devoted to various innovations in the context of the German energy market. The meeting with the director of EnergieCity Leipzig, Hans-Jochen Schneider, focused on the smart use of energy in daily life and the prospects for its implementation into households, companies, and public spaces.
His visionary talk was followed by a presentation on the possibility of developing micro regional energy markets in Germany. The presentation was delivered by one CGYPP participant, Daniel Iglhaut representing EnergieForen Leipzig, who explored the possibility of identifying potential energy savings in connection with investments into further innovations. On the way to Prague, we paid a visit to Colditz, the leading municipality in terms of energy sufficiency and the use on level of local municipality.
The following part of the seminar, already taking place in Prague, aimed to highlight another aspect of energy politics — one that is specific for the Czech context; namely, the precarious relation to Russia as a power with hegemonic aspirations and its use of energy blackmail. The debate with Michael Romancov, a lecturer at the Charles University in Prague, offered various perspectives on the use of energy as a political tool, providing a comprehensive picture of the issue.
The following working dinner with the journalist Petr Skočdopole revealed several aspects of the Czech energy policy-making. Highlighting a diversity of players and their interests that influence the formation of the Czech energy policy. The debate touched upon one aspect that had not yet been discussed, the issue of lignite and hard coal.
Lastly, a program that tied these various aspects together followed; it was a simulation game on the development of energy prices at the energy stock exchange. The speaker, Alois Tost, introduced to us his interactive methodology of the development of prices, pointing out factors that influence the gains and losses of energy producers.
The second part of the seminar, devoted to the personal dimension of energy, had two parts. The debate with the Czech Alpine skier, Šárka Strachová, indisputably constituted one of the seminar’s highlights. Approaching the debate in a highly professional manner, she shared with us her personal story of gaining energy and putting it to use in her racing career.
This topic was also the subject matter of a discussion following the participants’ presentations on the topic “What is Your Fuel for Life”. The presentations were done in a Pecha Kucha style to allow for greater interactivity and offer the possibility to try out a new presentation style.