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Oct. 29, 2014 - Energiewende (Energy Shift): The Remarkable Renewable Energy Transformation in Germany: an inspiration for Alberta.

The share of renewable electricity in Germany rose from 6% to nearly 25% in only ten years. It is estimated that this share will be more than 40% by 2020.

  • How did Germany manage transition its energy system toward renewable energy so quickly?
  • Which policy tools were most effective?
  • What was the role of the municipalities and small businesses?
  • What is the economic spinoff of the transition in energy prices, job creation and the vitality of communities?

More than two decades ago, Germany adopted the first feed-in-tariff regulation, followed in 2000 of the Renewable Energy Act (EEA), giving priority to renewable energy generation to the grid. The Germany’s development bank KfW was also another tool mobilised in the energy transition: it supports municipalities and other actors to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The economic spinoffs are numerous, including:

  • Job creation. Today, roughly 380,000 Germans work in the renewables sector – far more than in the conventional energy sector. In addition, between 100,000 – 150,000 of net job creation is expected in the period from 2020 to 2030.
  • Decrease in electricity price. In 2012, wind and solar energy have driven down prices on the wholesale power market by more than 10%. Since 2010, prices are down by 32%. 
  • Promotion of community’s and small business’ projects. By 2013, more than half of investments in renewables had been made by small investors.

Reference: Energy Transition: The German Energiewende, Heinrich Böll Foundationm November 2012, Revised January 2014, (

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In the media

  • Big pay­offs from clean energy, German official says, ‘Everything is impossible until it’s done’, By David Howell, in Edmonton Journal October 29, 2014: Click here
  • Green Party says reports that renewable energy can't cut it are 'nonsense', By Hal Roberts, National Bureau; in Toronto Sun, First posted:

Keynote speakers

1) Bertram Fleck, Chief Administrative Officer (Landrat in German) of Rhein-Hunsrueck County

Landrat Bertram Fleck Born in 1949, Bertram Fleck is a lawyer and since 1989, Chief Administrative Officer (Landrat in German) of Rhein-Hunsrueck County, Germany (101,000 inhabitants, 400 employees). Prior to this, his high level civil service experience includes working in various tax offices in the financial administration of Rhineland-Palatinate, in the regional tax office, and as personal assistant to the Minister of Finance (equivalent to Treasury Secretary in the U.S.). Mr. Fleck has more than 23 years of experience in regional administration and sets priorities on various projects in the areas of climate protection and renewable energies.

About the Rhein - Hunsrück 100+% Renewable Energy District. Targets: 236% renewable power by 2014; 507% renewable power by 2020; 828% renewable power by 2050; 100% net zero emissions heat and transportation by 2020.

Useful Links:

2) Dr. Christine Wörlen, founder and CEO of Arepo Consult

Dr. Christine Wörlen is the founder and CEO of Arepo Consult, a small consulting company on sustainable energy in Berlin, Germany. She has been working in renewable energy for 15 years, starting with her work for the German parliament’s study commission on sustainable energy and her doctoral thesis. As Programme Manager at the Global Environment Facility she was responsible for the GEF grants for the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP and the regional multilateral development banks’ project in renewable energy in developing countries and emerging economy. Later as Head of Renewable Energies of the German Energy Agency dena, she managed support programs to German renewable energy companies and renewables’ grid integration. At Arepo Consult she is advising policy makers, NGOs, companies and international organizations on sustainable energy policy, monitoring and evaluation and the German Energiewende.



  • 8:40 am – Pre-conference refreshment break
  • 9:00 am – Brief Welcome - Thanks to faculty and community partners: Science, Social Work, Arts, Schulich School of Engineering; Environmental Design, Wentlund Faculty of Education; Van Horne Institute; Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance (ACTia); logistics: washrooms, breaks and lunch; emergency evacuation procedure and muster point (Melody); welcome to special guests:  MLAs, Senators or MPs, policy analysts (conference chair: Dr. Mishka Lysack, U of C)
  • 9:10 am – 100% Renewable Electricity & Sustainable Communities in Rhein-Hunsrueck District From energy importer to energy exporter! Local communities & the energy turnaround - Landrat Bertram Fleck, Chief Administrative Officer (Landrat) of Rhein-Hunsrueck Region, Germany
  • 9:50 am – Discussion in pairs
  • 9:55 am – Panel Dialogue

- Rod Fox, MLA, WildRose
- Byron Miller, Associate Professor, University of Calgary- Muhammad Shaikh, Co-chair of the Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy (ELSE) Program
- Laura de Carolis, Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC)

  • 10:15 am – Q & A
  • 10:30 am – Break
  • 10:45 am – How Germany became a World Leader in Renewable Energy - Dr. Christine Wörlen, founder and CEO of Arepo Consult
  • 11:20 am – Discussion in pairs
  • 11:25 am – Panel Dialogue:

- Dr. Raj Sherman, MLA (Liberal)- John Hankins, Director, Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance (ACTIA)
- Mark Wolfe, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Calgary

  • 11:45 am – Q & A
  • 11:55 am – Wrap up & Thanks – Dr Mishka Lysack (Conference Director; associate professor, Social Work)
  • 12:00 pm - Lunch
  • 1:00 pm - Effective Leadership for Renewable Energy, Sustainable Local Economies, and Resilient Communities
                    A Panel Consultation: with Bertram Fleck and Christine Woerlen
  • 2pm: Forum concludes


Conference Director

Dr. Mishka Lysack, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, & Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary

Thank you to our partners

Science, Social Work, Arts, Schulich School of Engineering; Environmental Design, Werklund School of Education; Van Horne Institute; Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance (ACTia). This conference is funded in part by a grant from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).