Yesterday, Wednesday afternoon, 25 May 2022, the British Minister of State for Energy, Greg Hands, visited the research institutes on Potsdam's Telegrafenberg. On the sideline of the meeting of the G7 environment, climate and energy ministers in Berlin, he informed himself about current research on climate change and the energy transition and discussed future cooperation between Germany and the United Kingdom.
In the Historical Library on the Telegrafenberg, the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Potsdam branch of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) presented themselves and invited for an open discussion.
The GFZ was represented by its former Scientific Director (interim) Niels Hovius and by Michael Kühn, head of the Fluid System Modelling Section. The main topics on the GFZ side were geoenergy, e.g. in the form of geothermal energy, and underground storage facilities, such as those needed for energy carriers like hydrogen, but also for the legacies of energy production like CO2 and nuclear waste.
Energy Minister Hands impressed by science at Telegrafenberg
"Potsdam is a centre for science and I am deeply impressed by the various institutes on Telegrafenberg. As Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change of the UK, I was very pleased to see that we have broadly similar positions to Germany on climate change and its impacts and mitigation. Both countries are working closely together on this, especially during this G7 week. It was very good to be informed here first hand about the work of the leading German institutes in the field of climate change research."
Niels Hovius from GFZ also welcomed the valuable exchange
"This informal visit was very fruitful. We addressed important issues that are directly relevant to G7 and the climate, energy and environmental topics that Germany is currently coordinating. Directly relevant for the GFZ are topics such as hydrogen storage and negative emissions," says Hovius. "Such informal talks are also seeds for future cooperation: this is where the ideas are born that will then hopefully give rise to joint projects in the future. In this context, we have lighted on the opportunities for cooperation on nature-based solutions for CO2 drawdown."
Greg Hands has been a member of the British Cabinet since 2011. Since September 2021, the historian has been Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change. He currently visits Berlin for the meeting of the G7 environment, climate and energy ministers from 25 to 27 May 2022. The G7 agenda - under German leadership - includes sustainable resource use, adaptation to the impacts of the climate crisis and environmentally sustainable supply chains. Germany holds the G7 Presidency in 2022.