Energiewende made in the USA - what can we learn from California?

On the 9th of August of this year, more than 27 percent of consumed electricity was generated by renewable energy sources in California. A new record. The most populous US-state with more than 37 million inhabitants is considered a pioneer in sustainable climate and energy policy – the goal of having renewable energy make up 33 percent of the power mix by 2020 is ambitious, as similarly seen in Germany.

To guarantee power system stability and security of supply in both countries is not just a technological challenge – more and more actors consider the conversion of the power supply a social experiment based on new cooperative planning procedures. In 2007, California had already established the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) that aimed for more public participation and a compromise between as many interest groups as possible. As the coordinator of RETI, David Olsen set new standards. Inspired by this process, other actors started to rethink their own roles too: grid operators who increasingly take on more responsibility beyond technological neutrality are only one example.

Being a pioneer of integrated and participatory planning of renewable energy sources, as well as system reliability and grid development, Mr. Olsen’s insights can be of high relevance for the German “Energiewende”.


Lecture by David Olsen, member of the Board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator CAISO and former president of the grid planning initiative RETI | Presentation

Panel discussion with: 

  • Patrick Graichen, Agora Energiewende, Deputy Director and Senior Associate Power Market and System Reliability
  • Tobias Austrup, Greenpeace Germany, Political Advisor Energy Transition
  • Steffen Jenner, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Unit National and European Electricity Market, Market Integration and EU Aspects of Renewable Energies
  • Olivier Feix, 50Hertz, Head of Corporate Communication/ Public Affairs
  • Marius Strecker, TenneT, Issue Manager Stakeholder Integration
  • Nina Scholz, E.ON, Public Affairs and Corporate Communication

Video recording

Photo gallery



Theresa Schneider
Senior Manager–Communication

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