At a time when turbulence in Europe’s energy market is making daily headlines, Jan Rosenow remains optimistic: “On the whole, I think we’re well on the way to achieving our climate targets,” he says in response to the question of what the energy system will look like in ten years.
The 42-year-old is Head of European Programs at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). RAP is a “think-and-do-tank,” as Rosenow likes to call it. The organization works hand-in-hand with decision-makers in several regions around the world to push the energy revolution. “Our focus is decarbonization and that we are creating a clean energy system through smart policy, regulation, and market design,” he says.
Consultant for Commission and EU Parliament
Rosenow grew up in a village near Bielefeld. His father was an active member of the Green Party. As early as the third school year, he encouraged his classmates to take part in aid campaigns, he says. “We collected waste or built birdhouses that we sold at the weekly market, then donated the proceeds to rainforest conservation organizations, for example.”
After studying geosciences in Münster, Rosenow completed a master’s degree in environmental policy at the London School of Economics, which was followed by a Ph.D. in Energy Policy at Oxford. His expertise in energy market issues is in high demand. The European Commission, the European Parliament, the International Energy Agency, USAID, and the British Parliament are just some of the institutions that called on him as a consultant.
Europe must increase energy efficiency
In his current assignment at the RAP, Rosenow supports the EU in its ambitious goal of being climate neutral by 2050. In doing so, he observes that some sectors make more progress than others. “The energy sector, by and large, is on a good path, and we understand how to scale these technologies,” he says.
He sees a lot of pent-up demand in transportation, construction and heating, as well as in industry. Europe must invest massively in technologies and pursue strategic policies to increase its energy efficiency, he says – that means heat pumps, eVs, energy refurbishments, and other measures that “reduce energy waste and inefficiency in the system”.
In his view, the current energy crisis created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine will “massively accelerate” the energy transition. It will be necessary to accept that coal-fired power plants will have to be ramped up again in the short term and that some construction on the gas infrastructure will be needed, Rosenow said. “The more important step I see is a massive investment in green technologies.” He believes, that the current high energy prices would provide a powerful boost in that regard. Michael Grubb