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German-Norwegian Energy Dialogue 2019

German-Norwegian Energy Dialogue 2019

On 25 April, Representatives from politics, industry and research discussed topics such as the German Kohleausstieg, prospects for Norwegian gas exports and the potential for bilateral cooperation in research and innovation, and the role of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in climate change mitigation.

Dr. Arndt von Schemde, partner at Thema Consulting Group, and Liv Monica Stubholt, energy partner at the lawfirm Selmer AS, moderated this year’s dialogue.

German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the German Embassy in Oslo, Thema Consulting Group and Selmer AS

Closer European Energy Cooperation

Rikard Gaarder Knutsen, State secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, presented the ways in which Norway can contribute to the decarbonization of Europe through the export of natural gas and by linking the Norway’s renewables to Europe. Thorsten Herdan, Director-General, Energy Policy, Heating and Efficiency from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, emphasized the need for continued bilateral energy cooperation.- Energy autarchy is worth nothing, except that it costs a lot of money. That is why we need Nordlink, said Mr. Herdan.

The member of the executive board of VNG, Hans Joachim Polk, also discussed the role of gas in the German energy mix. He emphasized the need to establish a long-term gas supply. DEA’s head of the representative office in Berlin, Anja Bischof, underlined the importance of upstream oil and gas producers adapting to the green transition by becoming more efficient, cleaner and transparent.

The role of gas in the German Kohleausstieg

Agora Energiewende presented the conclusions of the Coal Commission, which was mandated by the government to develop a phase-out strategy for coal. Project manager Philipp Litz stated that additional gas capacity is necessary to reach the targets.

Statkraft, Hydro and Siemens Energy presented their views on how business and industry is affected by Germany’s exit from coal.

The Vice President and Head of EU Affairs at Hydro, Rønnaug Sægrov Mysterud, stressed that the coal exit could lead to outsourcing of industry if implemented wrongly. Dr. Volkmar Pflug, Vice President Energy Consulting at Siemens, emphasized the need for sector coupling if the coal exit is to succeed.

- In the new energy system we need to benefit from innovation and use the market where it is possible, said Dr. Jürgen Tzschoppe, Executive Vice President at Statkraft

Connecting European Markets

What could the EU’s clean energy package mean for renewable investments in Norway? According to Adrian Mekki, consultant at Thema Consulting Group, Norway’s contribution and target could be 88% renewables share by 2030, up from 67% in 2020. Joakim Johnsen from Aquila Capital explained Norway already has attractive investment conditions due to its strong ambitions for climate policy. Angelika Grohmann Wörle presented TenneT’s vision for the energy infrastructure of tomorrow – a North Sea Wind Power Hub. On R&I, Dr. Nils A. Røkke from SINTEF hoped to see new cross-border collaborations on hydrogen and CO2-handling.

The need for cross-border cooperation on CCS

Industry needs CCS in order to reach the climate targets agreed upon in the Paris Agreement. From the Norwegian side we heard how Norway plans to develop a commercial value-chain for CO2-handling by 2023-2024, with presentations from Equinor, Fortum Varme Oslo and Norcem, among others. Germany’s large industry sector needs CCS for many industrial processes. Norway’s solution is to transport the captured CO2 from the industrial site to the North Sea, where it will be stored under the seabed.

- Equinor has spotted 50 German facilities close to sea and rivers from which transport of CO2 could make sense. Our Northern Lights projects needs participation from European partners if it is to succeed, said Paul James Sørheim, Commercial and negotiations leader of the Northern Lights project.

Both Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Kümpel from Acatech and Dr. Joachim Hein from the German Federation of German Industries (BDI) where impressed by Norway’s openness towards CCS technologies and regretted that Germany’s debate on the subject has stood still since 2011. Their hope for renewed discussions were however low – many years of “fake news” has made it virtually impossible to even start a conversation on the subject, they both lamented. Trude Sundset, CEO at Gassnova, expressed a hope that Norway’s initiative could help reduce German skepticism towards the technology and bring some positivity back into the German debate.




Moderators: Dr. Arndt von Schemde, Managing Partner, THEMA Consulting Group AS
Liv Monica Stubholt, Energy Partner law firm Selmer AS

12.00 Registration and lunch

12.30 Welcome

  • Norbert Pestka, Managing Director of the German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce
  • Alfred Grannas, German Ambassador to Norway

12.45 Deepened Energy Cooperation: What are the Possibilities?

  • Norwegian Contributions to Energy Security and the Decarbonization of Europe
    Rikard Gaarder Knutsen, State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
  • From electricity transition to energy transition
    Thorsten Herdan, Director-General in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
  • Discussion

13.45 Coffee Break


Changes in the German Energy System

  • Keynote: What Does It Take to Successfully Phase Out Coal? And How Fast Can Germany Go
    Philipp Litz, Project Manager, Agora Energiewende
  • Discussion




Connecting European Markets

  • Prospects for Wind Power From an Investor’s Perspective
    Joakim Johnsen, Senior Investment Manager, Aquila Capital

16.15 Coffee Break


The Norwegian Solution: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

  • The Role of CCS From German Industry’s Perspective
    Dr. Joachim Hein, Senior Adviser, BDI – Federation of German Industries
  • Discussion 

17.30 Wrap up and End of the Program

18.00 Networking Reception at Ekebergrestauranten


Dr. Arndt von Schemde

Managing Partner

THEMA Consulting Group AS

Liv Monica Stubholt

Energy Partner

Law firm Selmer AS


Rikard Gaarder Knutsen

State Secretary

Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

Thorsten Herdan


German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Hans-Joachim Polk 

Member of the Executive Board


Anja Bischof

Head of Representative Office Berlin

DEA Deutsche Erdöl AG

Steffen Syvertsen

Executive Vice president

Agder Energi - Energy Management and Trading

Philipp Litz

Project Manager

Agora Energiewende

Dr. Jürgen Tzschoppe

Executive Vice President International Power


Rønnaug Sægrov Mysterud

Head of Government and Public Affairs


Dr. Volkmar Pflug

Vice President Strategies, Market and Competitive Intelligence

Siemens Energy

Adrian Mekki


Thema Consulting Group

Joakim Johnsen

Senior Investment Manager

Aquila Capital

Angelika Grohmann-Wörle

Technical Work Stream Lead North Sea Wind Power Hub

TenneT TSO GmbH

Dr. Nils A. Røkke

Executive Vice President Sustainability



European Energy Research Alliace (EERA)

Trude Sundset



Per Brevik

Director Sustainability and Alternative Fuels

HeidelbergCement Northern Europe

Jannicke Gerner Bjerkås

Director CCS

Fortum Oslo Varme

Paul James Sørheim

Commercial and Negotiations Leader, Northern Lights CCS Project


Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Kümpel

Project Leader CCU & CCS


Dr. Joachim Hein

Senior Adviser

BDI – Federation of German Industries