2018 Groningen International Conference Videos

Welcome and Plenary Session 1: Energy in Emerging and Developing Countries

Welcome and opening remarks by Machiel Mulder (general conference chairman), Nienke Homan, Executive of the Province of Groningen, Gertjan Lankhorst (chairman New Energy Coalition, Groningen) and David Knapp (president of the IAEE).

Emerging and developing countries face the challenge of securing energy supply with rapidly growing demand, new ambitious environmental targets, and limited access to international capital markets. It also brings important opportunities: Energy access provides important health and environmental benefits, and regions might be rich in renewable energy resources. In this session we report on those challenges and opportunities, describe the role the governments and international institutions like the world bank, and discuss the interactions with other policies such as international trade, innovation and industrial policy, and social policy.
Chair: Noë van Hulst , Ambassador of the Netherlands to the OECD and Chairman of the Governing Board of the IEA


  • Timur Gül , Senior Energy Analyst on the World Energy Outlook Team, International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris, France ( slides )
  • Zhang Xiliang , Professor and Director of Institute for Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China ( slides )
  • Chandra Bhushan , Deputy Director General of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi, India ( slides )

Plenary Session 2: Electricity Market Design

In a liberalized market, companies set production and investment levels in a decentralized manner based on market prices. For an efficient, competitive and resilient energy system, market design is paramount. In this session we discuss whether current markets provide correct signals forshort-run flexibility and long-term investments, based on available empirical evidence and simulations. How can market failures be eliminated while minimizing regulatory failures?


Bert Willems , Tilburg University, The Netherlands
( Opening slides ) / ( Discussion )


  • William W. Hogan , Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA.
    Topic presentation: “Spot market prices and reserve power market.” ( slides )
  • Andreas Ehrenmann , Director Energy Economics, Engie Tractebel. ( slides )
  • Clara Poletti , head of the Regulation Department, The Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water, Milan, Italy. ( slides )

Dual Plenary Session 1: Long-term Energy Scenarios

“All models and scenarios are wrong, but some are useful…”, and all are “political” and controversial, to the extent that they shape the perspective of decisionmakers, industry, policymakers, academic, and the general public as well. It therefore comes as no surprise that energy and climate scenarios are a topic of particularly controversial debate, both with respect to the institutional framing (who develops what kind of scenarios, in which context, etc.), and – off course – with respect to the results.
The objective of the session is to contribute to the debate with a discussion of both, political economy aspects of scenario making, either positive and/or normative, but also on concrete scenarios on the longer-term energy and environmental future.
Chair: Christian von Hirschhausen , Technical University Berlin, Germany ( slides )


Dual Plenary Session 2: Understanding Individual and Collective Consumer Behaviour

Traditional (energy) economics considers decision makers as ‘optimizers’ who always make rational choices. By using insights from (social) psychology, behavioral economics provides an extensive body of evidence contradicting the notion of the homo oeconomicus. This dual plenary session discusses the behavior of energy consumers / prosumers and small firms, both at the individual (e.g. bounded rationality, mental accounting, green biases) and aggregate level (e.g. peer pressure, collective behavior). We will also address situations where some of these behavioral topics (e.g., nudging, choice architecture, information framing, pro-social and -environmental behavior, and time preferences) become relevant for the underlying decision-making processes, and for the design of energy policy as well as for behavioral (economics) research (such as large-scale field experiments).

Chair: Reinhard Madlener , RWTH Aachen, Germany
( slides )


Dual Plenary Session 3: Future of Natural Gas Markets

The future natural gas markets will be subject to several major changes on both supply and demand side. Europe will become more dependent on imports from Russia, but how will this affect the competition and security of supply in the European gas market? What is the role of increasing demand for gas in China on global gas markets? Another supply factor is the future availability of shale gas in the US and other regions: what will be the future development of shale gas and how will this affect global gas trade and price. The demand for gas will be affected by the energy transition replacing fossil fuels by renewable. What will be the impact of the increasing shares of renewable energy on the demand for gas?
Chair: Machiel Mulder , University of Groningen, The Netherlands
( slides )

  • Hill Huntington , Executive Director Energy Modelling Forum, Stanford University, USA. Topic presentation: “North American natural gas markets in transition: the future of shale gas”. ( slides )
  • Knut Einar Rosendahl , Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway. Topic presentation: “The future of Russian gas exports to the European market”. ( slides )
  • Ying Fan (Beihang University): Director of Beihang Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Beijing, China. Topic presentation: “The future of China’s natural gas market with increasing shares of renewables”. ( slides )

Dual Plenary Session 4: Energy Challenges in Transport

In this session we will discuss the two main energy challenges in road transport. This sector is responsible for about 50% of the global oil consumption and 80 to 90% of all carbon emissions in the transport sector. The challenges are the reduction of carbon emissions and the reduction of local air pollutants in cities. Reliable oil supply is less of a problem now that sources of oil supply have been diversified. For car transport, alternatives are being developed (electricity, hydrogen, biofuels) but these are expensive and rely mostly on massive green electricity production. For freight transport and for aviation, the options are even more difficult. Topics which will be discussed are, amongst others: what will be the future dominant car technology? does it make sense to promote decarbonisation of the car sector given the fact that this is still a much more expensive option to reduce carbon emissions than in other sectors? how will oil producers respond when they see that a large part of their market is disappearing?
Chair: Anna Creti , Ecole polytechnique and University of Paris, France
( slides )

  • Stef Proost , Professor of Economics, Centre for Energy, Transport and Environment, University of Leuven, Belgium. Topic presentation: Fossil fuels ( slides )
  • Mats Greaker , Head of Research, Statistics Norway, Oslo, Norway. Topic presentation: Biofuels ( slides )
  • Yannick Perez , Université Paris-Sud XI / Ecole Superieur d’Electricite, Paris, France. Topic presentation: Electrification of transport ( slides )

Plenary Session 3: Climate Policy & Closing Remarks

This session discusses the implementation of climate policy through different policy instruments. Climate policy requires carbon pricing to properly price the missing market for emissions that cause global warming. Yet putting a proper price on carbon around the world through either price or quantity instruments is still in its infancy. Apart from carbon permit trading, like the EU Trading System (ETS), also other instruments, like energy taxes or standards could be used to price carbon. Questions to be discussed in this session are:
  1. Is setting up emission trading schemes, like in China and US States, the proper way forward?
  2. How to account for the simultaneous use of different policy instruments, like emissions trading, energy taxes and subsidies, and standards?
  3. How to deal with (carbon) leakage effects?
  4. How does carbon pricing affect bargaining power in fossil fuel-markets?
Chair: Herman Vollebergh , Tilburg University/PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Netherlands
  • Carolyn Fischer , Senior Fellow, Resources of the Future, Washington DC, USA
  • Ian Parry , Principal Environmental Fiscal Policy Expert, IMF, Washington DC, USA
  • Michael Grubb , Professor of Energy and Climate Change, University College London, United Kingdom


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