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By Jerzy Buzek / from energypost.eu

Today’s European energy market is still poorly interconnected and neither open nor competitive, writes former European Parliament President and former Prime Minister of Poland Jerzy Buzek, currently a Member of the European Parliament. Moreover, energy prices in the EU are much higher than in China and the US and are increasing. According to Burzek, a truly harmonised common energy market and coordinated investment in infrastructure are vital if Europe is to return to growth and remain competitive.

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Oldenburg. Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil visited on Thursday 22 August 2013 the EWE Research Centre NEXT ENERGY in Oldenburg. He will mainly be informed about the research activities for integrated energy management systems for buildings. The SPD politician is accompanied by a high-ranking Dutch delegation, which include the Provincial Governors (“Commissioners of the King”) of the three neighboring provinces in the Netherlands.

The aim of the German-Dutch encounter will be to pave the way, together with representatives of NEXT ENERGY, the city of Oldenburg, the Oldenburg energy cluster OLEC and the President of the University of Oldenburg, Dr. Babette Simon, for more cross-border projects in energy research . Highlight of the event is the signing of a cross-border Memorandum of Understanding  between OLEC, the Groninger partner network Stichting Energy Valley and the Dutch Energy Academy Europe, in the presence of Prime Minister Stephen Weil and the Dutch Consul General Dr. Hendrik Jan Voskamp.

The memorandum is, as a first step, aimed at bringing together the expertise in Energy Systems for buildings on both sides of the border. NEXT ENERGY for example is involved in the development of  innovative learning approaches for energy management systems for buildings. The memorandum will further serve to deepen the cooperation in demand-driven research, education and economic use of energy. Ultimately the aim of the cooperation is to cover virtually all topics of the future energy system, from storage technologies and smart grids to electro mobility.

“The experience gained from previous projects show that cross-border integration of activities is of great importance for future European energy policy,” explains the OLEC CEO Roland Hentschel. An intensive and targeted cooperation can therefore serve as a model for other European regions.

Also the local institutes are strengthened by the cooperation, as Prof. Dr. Carsten Agert, Director of NEXT ENERGY stressed: “Lower Saxony is increasingly becoming one of the leading German states in the energy revolution. Not least because of excellent energy research that takes place at several locations in Lower Saxony. I’m really looking forward to intensify the already successful collaboration with our Dutch partners. ”

Dr. Noé van Hulst, director of the Energy Academy Europe, stressed the importance of cross border cooperation in research and education for the most needed energy transition: “To fight climate change we need more research and above all bright young people who are able to design and implement new energy systems. The challenge is far too big to do this on your own. We have much in common with the institutions and energy systems of Lower Saxony, but there are also differences, notably in energy policy. So for me it is a no-brainer that we can learn a lot from each other, and I’m very much looking forward to this cooperation.”

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