3 July 2012

International forum convenes renewable energy stakeholders

Mistra has joined the Energy Transition Forum, a new initiative intended to facilitate open, fact-based dialogue on switching to renewable energy. The Forum is run by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), a research and policy institute, and convenes leaders from global companies and the public sector in both the EU and the USA.

– The plan is to bring together ideas and discussions about how to develop markets and control instruments at international level, so as to speed up efforts to replace present-day fossil energy, explains Mistra’s Executive Director Lars-Erik Liljelund.

Liljelund attended the Forum’s first meeting, in Washington DC in mid-May, which he describes as ‘extremely rewarding’. One topic discussed was the sustainability of current subsidies of fossil, as well as renewable, energy sources.

– We also discussed whether the Forum should get into the issue of climate change — something I personally don’t think is necessary. There are already so many other initiatives under way there. It will be exciting to see how this one evolves. We hope it will culminate in subprojects that our research programmes in the area can fit in with and contribute to.

Mistra is funding the initiative, with a grant of SEK 2 million, in cooperation with numerous central bodies. Participation by policy stakeholders, organisations and companies representing the whole spectrum provides a broad base for sound inputs and progress, Liljelund thinks. The Forum will meet twice a year, alternating between the USA and Europe. The next meeting will be in Brussels in autumn 2012.