Climate Change and the Energy Challenge: Integration of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resources

Brussels | Belgium

For impressions of the Summer Academy 2013 please click here

The Summer Academy ‘Energy and the Environment’ took place from 15-21 September. On Sunday evening the 15th, participants and teaching faculty have gathered in Brussels and have discussed current issues on the field of climate and energy policy (Monday) new trends on the energy market ranging from China’s influential role to shale gas and nuclear controversies (Tuesday). On Wednesday the Academy narrowed down the focus to the topic of energy efficiency, and on Thursday sector specific challenges were up for discussion. Friday, the last day, investigated the design and effectiveness of the EU energy efficiency directive, its practical implementation in a selection of member states and the incentives for businesses and individuals to incorporate efficiency in their habits and value chain.

  • For a detailed agenda of the Academy, lectures and teaching faculty please click here
  • For background information on the Summer Academy ‘Energy and the Environment’, please click here




The topic
As climate change is forcing us to redesign our energy system and consumption patterns, energy efficiency and renewable energy feature high on the agenda of policy-makers and businesses alike. Energy efficiency measures are rapidly integrated across the economy, and fossil fuel is making way for renewables. But are current efforts enough to mitigate climate change?

– This year, the Summer Academy ‘Energy and the Environment’ will revisit the major climate and energy questions of our generation, questions that have driven the event since its very first edition in 2004. Paying special attention to the demand and supply-side potential and challenges of energy efficiency, the 10th anniversary of the Summer Academy ‘Energy and the Environment’ is the perfect occasion to look back on the major topics addressed over the past decade, to evaluate what progress has been made and to weave new issues and recent (technological) developments into the discussion.

-The Academy will kick off with an in-depth study on the state of climate change, climate policy and the continuing dominance of conventional fuels in today’s energy infrastructure and matrix. This diagnosis is the foundation on which the program will develop a comprehensive, interdisciplinary analysis of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, the building blocks of decarbonization strategies worldwide.

The location
2013 is a special year for the Summer Aca­demy: It marks the 10-year anniversary of this international event! At this occasion, the Academy will be hosted in Brussels, capital of the EU and home to much of the region’s innovative sustainable policy-making. The conferences will take place at the Representation of the German State (or Bundesland) Mecklenburg Vorpommern to Brussels from Monday to Thursday. A key player in the German Ener­giewende, the region Mecklenburg Vorpom­mern will soon derive all its energy needs from renewable sources. Their vast expe­rience in shifting to a sustainable, energy efficient system makes this Bundesland the ideal cooperation partner for our Summer Academy ‘Energy and the Environment’ 2013. On Friday, the final conference will be hosted by the Academy’s long-time partner, German energy law firm Becker Büttner Held, at their Brussels office.

The program
On Sunday the 15th of September the Academy begins with a welcome dinner in the center of Brussels. Participants can arrive throughout the day at a time of their convenience, and meet their colleagues and teaching faculty that evening. Information on the key locations in Brussels will be provided, and more details on the program will be distributed. The Academy begins the conferences on

On Sunday the 15th of September the Academy begins with a welcome reception in the center of Brussels. Participants can arrive throughout the day at a time of their convenience, and meet their colleagues and teaching faculty that evening. Key information on the program and the city will be distributed.

Monday offers an overview on the international climate policy framework, followed by low-carbon strategies in the EU. Sustainable policy pitfalls are illustrated with the case of EU biofuel policy and carbon pricing, followed by challenges of a low-carbon economy in the context of developing countries. The optional evening program includes a special climate change conference hosted by Bundesland Brandenburg.

Tuesday addresses the state of the energy market, paying special attention to nuclear and shale gas. The geopolitical effect of China’s economic expansion on the energy market, as well as EU relations, is examined. An economic analysis of conventional fuels vs RES is followed by regional sustainability efforts in Bundesland Mecklenburg Vorpommern, followed by the strengths and weaknesses of the German energy transition.

Wednesday begins the Academy’s focus on energy efficiency, starting with an analysis of the energy efficiency gap. The role of research and innovation is discussed, followed by an insight into the energy infrastructure modifications needed to accommodate efficiency updates and RES integration, and finally the state and potential of co-generation is presented.

Thursday looks at demand-side energy efficiency, beginning with policy, application and efficiency achievement in cities. Energy efficiency in the specific contexts of buildings and industry are next, followed by the transport sector (EU sustainable mobility policy and electric vehicles).

Friday focuses on the design, effectiveness and outlook of the 2012 EU Directive on Energy Efficiency. EU efficiency policy towards 2020 will be laid out and analyzed, post 2020 strategies are discussed and the economic and business drivers behind efficiency are demonstrated in a segment on value chain enhancement. The agenda is further complemented by case studies on the legal framework on energy efficiency in the UK, France and Germany. The Friday conference will end with a festive reception at the offices of our Friday host, Becker Büttner Held Brussels.