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Washington DC: The Social Benefits of Renewable Energy
February 13 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
The American Council on Germany and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission will host a discussion and luncheon with Dr. Sebastian Helgenberger from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam.
Dr. Sebastian Helgenberger leads the “Multiple Benefits of Renewables” project at IASS Potsdam. Building on experiences with Germany’s Energiewende (transition towards renewable energies), Sebastian and his team in their research activities and international science-policy dialogues are putting particular emphasis on the social and economic benefits of renewable energies as drivers of accelerated transitions towards sustainable energy for all. Sebastian studied Environmental Sciences at Leuphana University Lüneburg and conducted his master thesis at ETH Zurich on knowledge co-creation among science and society in sustainability transformations. He also holds a PhD in socio-economics, acquired from BOKU University Vienna for his work on the relevance of global warming on investment decisions in small and medium enterprises (SME). Throughout his career, Sebastian Helgenberger has been committed to advancing and experimenting with the transformative potential of science and research to accompany societal change.
Abstract: Boosted by impressive technological innovation and cost reductions, renewable energy in a growing number of countries is now primarily considered for its social and economic benefits. Among these benefits are opportunities for local value creation, energy independence, and reducing conflicts over scarce water, which are aggravated by fossil power generation. Allowing for distributed electricity generation, the rapidly expanding renewable energy world is opening up business models for many, including local communities, citizens, and citizens’ cooperatives. Experiences from Germany as well as other countries show how domestic energy policy can shape the enabling environment to seizing the social benefits of renewable energy.
With special thanks to the Northern Virginia Regional Commission for hosting this event
This program was made possible by a generous grant through the European Recovery Program – Transatlantic Encounters.