Towards a more graceful energy transition

28 September, Baarn, The Netherlands

Former Obama energy advisor Steven Koonin:

“Let’s move towards a more graceful energy transition”

In the past few years, the world has come to realize that the energy transition is no simple matter and that there are enormous consequences. Recently, president Robert-Jan Smits of Eindhoven University of Technology even declared that the energy transition is going too fast and that we run the risk of driving out important companies, a sentiment that is tangible in Germany as well.
To sharpen our minds we will organise a symposium with three excellent speakers: former Obama advisor Steven Koonin, nuclear specialist Theo Wolters and the German journalist Alexander Wendt.


Professor Steven Koonin

Obama top advisor

So how can we move towards a reliable, affordable, sustainable energy system, while respecting the fundamentals of demographics, technology, economics, regulation, and behavior? This is the topic that will be addressed by keynote speaker Steven Koonin. Professor Koonin was Undersecretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy during the Obama Administration. Before that he was BP’s Chief Scientist, where he was a strong advocate for research into renewable energies and alternate fuel sources and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech (California Institute of Technology). Koonin is also in The Netherlands for the launch of the Dutch translation of his book Unsettled

Professor Steven Koonin

Theo Wolters


A second central topic at this symposium is nuclear energy. In his presentation, Dutch Energy Specialist Theo Wolters will compare solar and wind vs nuclear energy in an electricity system with a strongly reduced fossil fuel share. According to Wolters, this will show that a low carbon electricity system needs a high nuclear energy share. He will propose a new electricity system, which will deal with all new demands of low carbon electricity production, thus providing both maximum grid stability and lowest electricity cost.

Theo Wolters

Alexander Wendt


With their Energiewende Germany has the most ambitious climate policy in Europe or even the world. How successful is the Energiewende so far?
In his presentation, German journalist Alexander Wendt will show that some (unintended) negative consequences of the energy transition (Energiewende) are already occurring in Germany. Wendt has worked for Leipziger Tageblatt, Welt, Stern and Focus Magazin and wrote the book Der grüne Blackout. Warum die Energiewende nicht funktionieren kann (The Green Blackout. Why The Energy Transition Cannot Work).

Alexander Wendt

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