This week we speak with Benjamin Görlach, Head of Economics and Policy Assessment, Ecologic Institute.

If you like wide-ranging interviews about the policy challenges of navigating the current energy crisis in Europe. This episode is for you. Benjamin and I cover everything from the EU’s emission trading system, the dominance of electricity for transport and the 4i Traction project – standing for innovation, investment, infrastructure and sector integration. These are buzzwords, but we get into an in-depth discussion on investments and infrastructure.

Some of the key issues we address are the price of ETS and whether politicians should be playing with it to reduce energy costs. How electrification of cars has won the day and why shifting away from fossil fuels is simply more profitable. Renewables have simply won.

The takeaway, since Benjamin is an environmental economist, is there’s no going back for both the institutional structures that incentivize investments into renewables and the technology we have today is getting us to a zero-carbon energy system by 2050.

A final note, this interview was done for my current role as an Open Society University Network, Senior Fellow at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs. The funding was generously provided to produce the podcasts until the end of 2022.


Full transcript is here (This is done by AI, so there are mistakes in the text, but listen to the audio for clarity)

My Energy 2050 Episode 66: Introduction.


Benjamin’s background in environmental economics.


Can carbon pricing be used as a transformative tool to drive transformation?


Should the cap on the ETS be changed?


What are the positives and negatives of the energy price war?


How German industry will adjust to higher gas prices and government assistance.


What’s happening to the price of electricity?


What alternatives do you provide for consumers to respond to higher prices?


What are the enabling conditions for new solutions to not only be invented, but also to be rolled out at the scale that’s needed?


How different infrastructures are competing with each other.


How the energy crisis has changed the climate policy discussion.


The challenge in the policy realm: how do you organize in the most efficient way this process?


What is the overall focus of the project?


Where do you find the sweet spot between allowing sufficient flexibility to account for surprises, but also giving enough rigidity?


Are there signs of greater European unity in the area of energy policy?

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Dr. Michael LaBelle is an associate professor at Central European University in the Department of Environmental Sciences. He produces the My Energy 2050 podcast to change how we communicate and improve the energy transition.