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Rasmussen Travels with Delegation to Germany

Posted by Jenna Ray on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013


Lowell Rasmussen, vice chancellor for finance and facilities at the University of Minnesota, Morris, will accompany a Minnesota delegation to Dusseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany, this week. The delegation will attend a conference to explore energy use and opportunities between Minnesota and NRW.

The conference is a strict state-government to state-government project and follows up on Governor Mark Dayton’s recent trade mission to Germany and northern Europe. Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce Mike Rothman invited Rasmussen to join the delegation and attend the conference because of his expertise in renewable energy production and non-fossil fuel energy systems. Rasmussen will present on Morris’s approach to renewable energy and take part in planned project visits to on-site areas doing work in wind, solar, and bioenergy as well as co-generation, and energy efficiency.

Rasmussen will not only represent the Morris campus, but also join Sabine Engel, director of the Center for German & European Studies at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, and University of Minnesota Regent David McMillan in advancing broader University initiatives. Citing Germany’s excellence in incorporating renewables into the grid, he believes that both the University system and the state of Minnesota stand to gain a great deal of knowledge from their representation at the conference.

“In many respects Germany is ahead of the United States in integrating renewable power systems into their grids, so I think Minnesota has really good potential to learn from what Germany has already discovered and how it is operating,” says Rasmussen. “I’m hoping we’ll see some direct benefits coming back to the Morris area by making those connections.”

Rasmussen anticipates that the conference will show him how Morris can continue to aggressively look at local renewable energy production, and he looks forward to learning from his German counterparts. He is grateful for the opportunity to attend the conference and expresses his appreciation to both the state of Minnesota and the Department of Commerce for extending the invitation.

“We value the ability to work not only within the University of Minnesota system, but also with the state of Minnesota in promoting renewable energy,” he says.

The conference will be held December 5–6 and is hosted by the NRW Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection. Additional information on the ministry is available at umwelt.nrw.de/ministerium.