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GES: Energy Transition and Fracking: Can this Contradiction be Solved?

September 25, 2013

The worldwide energy transition from coal, oil and natural gas to renewable energies will be one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades. Accordingly, many programs have been set up in a number of countries. However, taking the example of Germany, the risks and challenges can also be discerned: energy prices have risen considerably in the last few years, the infrastructure is faced with new problems and there is often low acceptance of new power networks and power stations at local level.

New developments on the energy markets might make the implementation of the energy transition even more difficult. The focus here in particular is on so-called fracking (hydraulic fracturing)—a method by which even the smallest occurrences of natural oil and gas can be extracted. In the USA the fracking of natural gas has led to a considerable reduction in gas prices and thus also in coal prices in the USA. If fracking technology prevails worldwide, international energy prices shall rise at a much slower rate than expected, and might even decline. This price development will automatically diminish the competitiveness of renewable energies thus endanger efforts to protect the environment.

Experts at this year’s Global Economic Symposium (GES) shall discuss the interdependdencies between climate policy, energy transition and new, cheap sources of fossil fuels in the session “Towards a Sustainable Energy Mix”: What influence will the comparatively cheap fracking have on the expansion of renewable energies? How are both technologies accepted at local level? Why is Europe so much more sceptical of fracking than the USA? How can the energy transition be implemented globally if there are sufficient and cheap sources of fossil fuels?

The topic will be discussed by the following:

  • Martin Bachmann—Member of the Board of Executive Directors, Wintershall Holding GmbH
  • Yvo de Boer—Global Advisor, Climate Change and Sustainability, KPMG UK •
  • Tuomo Hatakka—Chairman of the Board of Management, Vattenfall
  • Caio Koch-Weser—Vice-Chairman, Deutsche Bank Group


Approximately 600 international decision makers in government, business, science, and civil society are expected to come together for the 6th Global Economic Symposium (GES 2013) on October 1–2. Their objective: to develop solutions to current global problems:


The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2013 is being organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW).

Further information is available at and on the official GES Blog at

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