Somber headlines abound these days about the lack of global progress in combating climate change. Certainly, the renewable energy business in the U.S. has entered a rough patch.

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On October 4, 2011, The European Institute held a seminar in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy, European Commission and Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s EU-Japan-U.S. Trilateral Critical Materials Initiative.  The Honorable David Sandalow, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs, The Honorable Reinhard Bütikofer, Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance and Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, European Parliament; and His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador of Japan to the United States presented keynote remarks.  Panelists included: Gwenole Cozigou, Director for chemicals, metals, mechanical, electrical, construction industries and raw materials, DG Enterprise and Industry at the European Commission; Herbert von Bose, Director for Industrial Technologies, DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission; Cyrus Wadia, Senior Policy Analyst, Environment and Energy Division at the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy; Charles Cogar, Legislative Director for U.S. Representative Mike Coffman; Komei Halada, Managing Director for the Center for Strategic Natural Resources at the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science; Keiichi Kawakami, Deputy Director General, Manufacturing Industries Bureau at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Stephen Collocott, Group Leader, Novel Alloys, Magnetics and Drives at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; Anil Arora, Assistant Deputy Minister, Minerals and Metals Sector, Natural Resources Canada; Alain Rollat, Technology Development Manager for Rhodia Rare Earth Systems; Maurits Van Camp, Coach, Recycling and Extraction Technology Platform, Umicore; and Jim Sims, Vice President for Corporate Communications at Molycorp.  The discussion was moderated by The Honorable Bart Gordon, Partner at K&L Gates LLP.

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.

How Can the U.S. Come Back as an Exporting Power? Germany Holds Lessons on Manufacturing Striving to bring back the U.S. from economic slump and recover from an opposition victory in recent Congressional elections, President Barack Obama has put his political capital behind the idea that the U.S. can rebound economically by pushing innovation and thus increasing exports.

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Nikos Tsafos is a Manager specializing in natural gas with PFC Energy.

U.S. Success Not A Blueprint For Europe

Europe, a continent where energy security--or insecurity--is a major source of anxiety, is beginning to look at the US success with shale gas, tight gas, and coal-bed methane gas, known collectively as “unconventional gas,” as a possible source of deliverance from its energy troubles. And the Russians, who are Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas, are genuinely worried that production could take off. Alexander Medvedev, the deputy head of Gazprom, recently expressed concern that gas from shale in the United States was a “dangerous development.” He meant, of course, that shale gas could perpetuate the current glut in global supplies, keeping profits down for Gazprom.

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