When I arrived in Berlin in August 2018, it was impossible to guess how different the world we are living in today would look compared to the summer four years ago. I had just started to work as a research assistant at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs – Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in a project called the “Geopolitics of the Global Energy Transformation”. Building on two scenario workshops and deep-dive discussions with experts from all over the world, the key motivation back then was to better understand where the moving target of the global energy transformation is getting us and what geopolitics have to do with it. This resulted in four different scenarios published in a seminal Nature article in May 2019 with starkly contrasting realities. The point was not to exercise sophisticated crystal ball gazing, but rather to reflect on a deeper, more structural level, and paint the energy world of the future (2030) on a decidedly geopolitical canvas.
Author: Martin Keim
Martin Keim is Head of European Energy Transition Programme at the European Union office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Brussels and editor-in-chief of www.energytransition.org. He is responsible for all issues related to the ongoing energy transitions within Europe, including EU legislation, internal energy markets, digitalisation and external energy relations to third countries. Before joining the Heinrich Böll Foundation, he worked as a research assistant at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin, also known as the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, within the project “The Geopolitics of Energy Transformation”. Prior to SWP, Martin gained experience in EU energy affairs within the private sector. His main topics included renewable energies legislation, digitalization, e-mobility charging infrastructure and CO2 emission targets.