Last 2015’s Czech-German Young Professionals Program (CGYPP) workshop was held in September in Berlin, Germany.
Titled “Switch-on!” the seminar focused on topics relating to energy policy from three different perspectives. Namely, from the political and social perspective, the technical point of view, and finally from the perspective of sustainability and research development. In addition to this, the seminar was dedicated to developing the participants’ own individual projects.
In its first part, the seminar focused on the German political perspective of European energy policy while taking into account both European and national perspective. The participants had the chance to discuss the related political issues in a relatively informal setting. The main point of Kirsten Westphal (SWP), Enno Harks (BP Europe) as well as Andrzej Ancygier (Climate Analytics) was devoted to the right of big states on one hand to act unilaterally and the demand of smaller states such as Poland and the Czech Republic to be consulted and not just forced to react to developments in Germany on the other. In this regard, the issue of Nord Stream 2 and Polish dependence was discussed as well.
In the second part of the seminar, the main topic focused on the technical implications of changing attitudes towards energy. The interesting area at the Berlin Südkreuz railway station shows how the engagement of public bodies (mainly the Berlin city council and Deutsche Bahn represented by Rudolf Althoff) can be leading institutions to use modern technologies. Particularly, how can solar and wind energy be used in the public transportation system and travellers get educated about these activities. Niles Ehlers from 50Hertz Transmission then offered us different perspective on the highly discussed issue of energy flows from northern Germany via Poland and the Czech Republic to southern Germany. Arguably, this is more of a technical and German political problem than a European one.
The seminar’s third block was dedicated to a very interesting research project that aims to secure food sustainability on a global scale. The on-site visit of Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries led by Werner Kloas showed how research institutions are highly motivated to research sustainable food chains that use animal excrement for planting (tomatoes in this particular case). The aim of this project is very clear: to save energy and water, a motivation driven by the realization that the world population is going to constantly grow.
The last part of the seminar was dedicated to the internal workshop that focused on participants’ projects.