On Friday 26 April, Prof. Martha Roggenkamp has been appointed Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. In an excellent manner and with great personal commitment, Roggenkamp (Groningen, 1955), Professor of Energy Law at the University of Groningen, gives substance to the activities belonging to the Chair of Energy Law. For more than 30 years, she has been untiring and assiduous in her efforts to stimulate both teaching and research in the area of energy law. She is the first Professor of Energy Law in the Netherlands and is internationally considered a pioneer and a figurehead in her field, which covers many facets and which she has consistently endeavoured to bring to prominence internationally.
Roggenkamp has been active in the field of Energy Law since the 1980s, when it remained uncharted territory, and which since then has undergone rapid change. After following a Summer School on energy in 1984, she firmly grabbed hold of the topic and developed her authority in this field. In 1999, she acquired her doctorate at the University of Leiden and in 2005 was appointed Professor of Energy Law at the University of Groningen. Over the years, she has been of great importance for the regulation of the energy sector and the legal aspects of urgent topics such as the liberalization of energy markets, consumer security of energy supply, gas extraction in the Wadden Sea region, the problem of earthquakes in Groningen, public ownership of energy companies and CO2 storage at sea. She has contributed significantly to the regulation of energy law. She is known for her visionary qualities: she is often the first to note developments that arise from new techniques. For instance, starting in 2011, she supervised a dissertation on the legal framework for a cross-border energy grid in the North Sea at a time when considerable scepticism still prevailed on the topic. Today, operators of energy networks are investigating the practical construction of such a grid. Years before a European directive was issued in 2009, she began writing a book on the broader legal analysis of CO2 capture in Europe: that book was published in the same year as the directive.
In the European energy world, the presence of Roggenkamp cannot be unacknowledged: her authority is undisputed and she plays a decisive role within several European advisory bodies. She is the organizer of biennial meetings convening international scholars to discuss current topics in the energy sector, each event resulting in a book on such a topic being published at Oxford University. In 2002, she was one of the founders of the Dutch Energy Law Association. Since then, she has energetically collaborated towards the organization of the European Energy Law Seminars, which treat current developments in European energy law and energy policy. These are important conventions for which she consistently manages to attract key speakers from the Netherlands and abroad. At these seminars, the topics discussed are often ahead of current practical developments, making the events highly appreciated among participants.
Roggenkamp was both the initiator of, an author of, and the first editor of a leading handbook on energy in European law and in the national law of various European countries. She has also served as the editor of the Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Energierecht (Dutch Journal on Energy Law) since its founding, and is the editor of the book Essential EU Climate Law. In 2018-2019, she is fulfilling the honourable position of editor in chief of the Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law.
In 2007, Roggenkamp was one of the co-founders of the Groningen Centre of Energy Law, a research institute which now has around 30 employees and is thriving under her inspiring leadership. This centre performs research on the full range of the energy chain, varying from laws and regulations that apply to energy production, transmission and delivery of energy, to the guaranteeing of supply security and the protection of both energy consumers and the climate. Apart from the legal and regulatory frameworks, the centre also investigates the economic and social effects of the liberalization of Dutch and European energy markets. Additionally, Roggenkamp is the co-programme leader of the research programme in Energy & Sustainability at the Faculty, which is aimed at multi-disciplinary and internationally oriented research on the energy transition. She is also a board member of the Groningen Energy and Sustainability Programme at the UG.
Roggenkamp is known as a successful promoter, who inspires her students to get excited about energy law. She is a professor who, apart from her research and directorial activities, is whole-heartedly committed to teaching. For instance, she has been very active in initiating and coordinating new course units and international partnerships, such as an innovative post-graduate Masters programme for energy professionals at the UG and the universities of Aberdeen, Oslo and Copenhagen. Thanks to her inspiring vision and great drive and enthusiasm, she has succeeded in bringing into being a fruitful programme as a result of this collaboration between four universities. Currently, she is working to establish a joint degree programme together with the prestigious George Washington University. With the latter, she is building an innovative programme for honours students at both universities who are researching current topics in the field of energy law.
Roggenkamp has created a full-time degree programme in Energy Law (Energy & Climate Law): the only one of its kind in the Netherlands. Alumni have a lot of praise for the programme. In addition, in 2010 she established a post-graduate programme on the topic of Dutch energy law from a European perspective. This programme is offered on location at various companies. Apart from her regular teaching programme, she is an active partner in Summer Schools in countries including Norway, Spain, the United States, Colombia and Russia.
As a professor and director, Roggenkamp is a perfect ambassador for the UG, for the Netherlands and Europe. Internationally, her contributions towards the maintenance of a reliable, affordable and cleanest possible energy supply are highly appreciated. Not only does she have expertise and wide-ranging knowledge, she is also known as someone whose infectious curiosity can offer people with opposing interests insight into each other’s viewpoints, which allows possible solutions to be accepted more easily. The social relevance and impact of her work are enormous: she contributes substantially and concretely to the shaping and implementation of the energy transition, which not only serves to protect the Netherlands from climate damage but can also create a competitive advantage for our country by promoting innovative energy generation and efficient energy law.
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