California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference 2018

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Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy logo

Second Annual Event

The California Energy Commission and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is partnering with the California Air Resources Board and the California Public Utilities Commission for the 2018 California-Germany Bilateral Conference. The conference will gather industry experts, think tanks, and policy makers from Germany and California to discuss recent developments and deepen the understanding of long-term trends in energy. With topics ranging from creating a climate-neutral energy sector to decarbonizing the transportation sector, the conference hopes to foster dialogue, strengthen networks, and inspire stakeholders who are leading the energy transition of their respective countries and regions.

See 2017 Conference Information


September 11, 2018
1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


The Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street
San Francisco, California

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Registration and Refreshments

Welcoming Remarks

Drew Bohan, Executive Director, California Energy Commission (Confirmed)

Opening Remarks

Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany (Confirmed)

A Climate Neutral Energy Sector: Utopian Vision or Achievable Goal

Climate neutrality is achievable in the energy sector thanks to technological progress and cost reductions in renewables, the increased experience with energy efficiency and the potentials of digitalization. These speeches outline the challenges and opportunities in achieving climate neutrality in the energy sector.

Michael Picker, President, California Public Utilities Commission (Confirmed)

Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director and Founder, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Invited)

How Climate Change Affects California’s Energy System

California is dealing with the impacts of climate change, including increased fires, droughts, and heat waves. Climate change affects how the state’s energy systems operate and future plans. This session will discuss the research and strategies needed to protect communities, infrastructure, services, and the natural environment.

Robert B. Weisenmiller, Chair, California Energy Commission (Confirmed)

Power Sector Transition: Achievements, Challenges and Vision

Germany and California demonstrate how climate change goals and the rapid deployment of renewables can go hand in hand with economic leadership and prosperity. This session is an opportunity to discuss experiences and challenges to help develop a shared vision for a carbon.


  • Sonia Aggarwal, Vice President, Energy Innovation (Confirmed)
  • Caroline Choi, Senior Vice President, Southern California Edison (Confirmed)
  • Dr. Simone Peter, President, German Renewable Energy Federation (Invited)
  • Andreas Kuhlmann, CEO, dena - German Energy Agency (Confirmed)


Decarbonizing Energy Use in the Transportation Sector

Decarbonizing passenger and freight transportation is critical to achieving climate change goals, improve air quality, and reduce health impacts, especially in disadvantaged communities. The keynote will provide an overview on visions, options and barriers for decarbonizing energy use in the transportation sector. The panelists will discuss the challenges involved, including how electrification impacts the power sector.

Keynote: Drew Kodjak, Executive Director, The International Council on Clean Transportation (Invited)

Moderator: Janea A. Scott, Commissioner, California Energy Commission (Confirmed)


  • Regine Günther, Berlin Senator for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection (Invited)
  • Christian Hochfeld, Executive Director, Agora Verkehrswende (Confirmed)
  • Fran Inman, Chair, California Transportation Commission (Invited)
  • Dr. Carla Peterman, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission (Invited)
  • Dr. Thomas Becker, Head of Public Relations and Political Strategy Department, BMW (Invited)
  • Ryan Popple, President and CEO, Proterra (Invited)

Closing Keynote

Mary D. Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board (Confirmed)

Closing Remarks

Robert B. Weisenmiller, Chair, California Energy Commission (Confirmed)

Representative from Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Invited)

Finger Foods and Refreshments


*Agenda will be updated periodically.