williamnitzeAre United States and Europe,  leaders in the developed world,  diverging or converging on national energy policies?  The question is important since common policies are more likely to set global standards.    But there is no single answer because the answer  differs depending  on which part of the energy sector one is talking about.  Accordingly, I will try to answer the question sector by sector starting with oil and proceeding through natural gas, non-hydro renewable and energy efficiency, and ending with climate change.  It should be noted that oil is used almost exclusively in the transportation sector; natural gas for electricity production and heating; and non-hydro renewables for electricity production.  Energy efficiency and climate change involve both the transportation and electricity sectors.

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Held in cooperation with the German Embassy and the Representative of German Industry and Trade on March 30, 2011, this event showcased the development of the electric car industry on both sides of the Atlantic, and highlighted the necessary R&D, infrastructure and energy supply challenges. Speakers included Ralph Fücks, President, Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Germany; Edwin Owens, U.S. Department of Energy; Brian Rampp, BMW; Brian Wynne, Electric Drive Transportation Association; Dr. Matthias Haun, Bosch; Lee Godown, GM; Claus Fest, RWE; Michael Kagan, Constellation Energy; and Daniel Ciarcia, General Electric; and Luis Giron, Siemens.

Conservative control of the House of Representatives weakens the already-flagging momentum on climate-change legislation. Many new Congress members – Republicans (including Tea Party activists) – will expand the ranks opposing environmental action as too expensive or even denying the existence of global warming as a man-made problem.

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On September 20, 2010, the European Institute welcomed The Honorable Eamon Ryan T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources of the Republic of Ireland. In a comprehensive presentation on Harnessing the Knowledge and Green Economies for Sustainable Growth, Minister Ryan began by addressing the Ireland’s current debt crisis and the government’s efforts to reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP in five years and to achieve more that 4% growth by 2012.  Central to these efforts is investment and trade in the energy and ICT sectors, which Minister Ryan argues are key components for sustainable economic growth.  As examples, he cited Ireland’s implementation of a National Retrofit Program to deliver energy efficiency upgrades and ongoing efforts to draw upon such plentiful renewable energy resources as wind. Minister Ryan stressed the importance of similar priorities in the European Union and emphasized the need for a common energy market within the EU, a single European digital market, and freer global technology transfer between the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Click here to read the full text of Eamon Ryan's remarks.

Obama, in Tampa, Will Cite Economic and Environmental Benefits

High-speed railways – an established feature of public transport in Europe – are finally on their way to existence in the U.S. in a long overdue move finally taken by the Obama administration.

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