28. September 2022 / F.A.Z. Atrium, Berlin
On 28 September 2022, our Energy Policy Dialogue took place in Berlin for the first time.
Under the title "Hydrogen in times of fundamental change – Where are we one year after the Bundestag elections?", Andreas Rimkus MP (Hydrogen spokesperson for the SPD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag), Dr Marie Jaroni (Head of Decarbonization at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG), René Rock MP (Chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the Hessian state parliament and energy policy spokesperson), Dr Patrick Wittenberg (member of the Management Board of Westnetz GmbH in charge of Special Technology and Digitalisation) and Dr Jörg Bergmann (CEO of OGE) engaged in a passionate debate with 100 guests at the F.A.Z. Atrium. The event was moderated by Ina Böttcher.
The panel discussion focused on what is needed to start the hydrogen ramp-up and thus make a real contribution to achieving the climate goals.
In summary, it became clear once again that without the right infrastructure, hydrogen will not reach the customers and not even make it to Germany. This is why important political decisions are needed now. Producers, importers, infrastructure operators and customers have to make big investment decisions over the coming months. To be able to do so, they need certainty, which only politics can provide. Following the panel discussion, our guests from politics, business, science and society went on to explore the arguments raised by the panel in greater detail.
These were the panelists:
Chairman of the Board of Management at Open Grid Europe GmbH
Focus: Strategy, Network Planning, Customer Services and HR
1987, Research assistant, Münster University
1994, Joined E.ON Ruhrgas AG on management development programme;
Section manager, accounting/shareholdings
1995, Executive assistant to CFO
1997, Head of Joint Ventures Department
2000, Head of Joint Ventures & Investment Projects Department
2002, Vice-President, Cost Controlling
2003, Senior Vice-President, Cost Controlling
January 2008, Member of the Board of Management of Open Grid Europe GmbH
July 2017, Chairman of the Board of Management of Open Grid Europe GmbH
Member of the German Bundestag
Andreas Rimkus, born in Düsseldorf on 24 December 1962, lives with his wife in Düsseldorf-Bilk. They have two children. When not in office, he works as a master electrician for a municipal energy supplier.
For many years Andreas Rimkus has been committed to promoting social balance – as chair of the Düsseldorf SPD from 2011 to 2021, as a works council member and trade unionist, as a city councillor in the state capital Düsseldorf from 2009 to 2013 and as a member of the German Bundestag for his constituency 107 - Düsseldorf II since the federal elections in 2013.
Head of Decarbonization at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG
- 2021: Head of Decarbonization at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, responsible for green transformation - strategy, raw materials (incl. H2), sales and plant construction
- 2020: Head Strategy and Communications at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG
- 2017: Head of Strategy, Markets and Development at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions
- 2011: Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company
- Diploma in Metallurgy at RWTH Aachen University
- PhD in Metallurgy at RWTH Aachen University
Head of Special Technology/Digitalisation of Westnetz GmbH
As a member of the Board of Management of Westnetz, Patrick Wittenberg has overall responsibility for Special Technology and Digitalisation. He holds a degree and a doctorate from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at RWTH Aachen University.
Patrick Wittenberg started his career at RWE, later innogy, as a technology officer in the metering department of RWE Rhein-Ruhr Netzservice GmbH. This was followed by positions at Westnetz GmbH in purchase order and resource management and as Head of Network Management in Arnsberg before he transferred to RWE AG in 2015 and then to innogy SE one year later. At Innogy he headed the Strategic Network Management & Network Charges division. Most recently, Patrick Wittenberg was Managing Director of wesernetz Bremen/Bremerhaven GmbH.
Energy spokesperson of the FDP parliamentary group
René Rock, born on 29 November 1967, is married with one child and lives in Seligenstadt in the district of Offenbach. He has been a member of the Hessian state parliament since 2008.
From 2009 to 2014 he was Deputy Chairman, from 2014 to 2017 Parliamentary Secretary and since 9 May 2017 he has been Chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the Hessian state parliament.
Mr Rock is the energy spokesperson of his parliamentary group and deals with energy policy at federal level as chairman of the Energy Working Group of the parliamentary group chairmen's conference of the federal states and as a member of the federal executive committee of the Free Democrats.
He is also active regionally as chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the regional assembly of South Hesse and as district councillor in district of Offenbach.
Journalist and television host
Ina Böttcher is a long-time journalist, presenter and media trainer.
As a journalist Ina Böttcher was in front of the camera almost daily for over 20 years. She presented the Tageschau news programme for 12 years. In addition to news, she also presented various talk show formats on television, including for Deutsche Welle and Spiegel TV.
Ina Böttcher studied political science, history and psychology in Bonn. She is a much sought-after moderator at live events, panel discussions, press conferences, symposia and conventions.
For several years she has been working as a communication coach, preparing executives for the camera and large audiences. Ina Böttcher also works as a lecturer for crisis communication.