Outreach: Perspectives and First Results of the GJETC

Bilateral cooperation such as the GJETC can play an important role in mastering the challenges of the energy transition in the respective countries and facilitate the knowledge transfer worldwide with good examples. Since its foundation in May 2016, the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) has been working on strategic and systemic analysis to develop policy advice for new and long-term perspectives on the way to an ambitious energy transition. One main task of the GJETC is a study program using evidence-based scenarios and system analysis. A year after the council took up its work the preliminary results of the studies have been presented and discussed by the German and Japanese GJETC members under the title:

„German-Japanese dialogue: How far can the Energy transition go?“
Perspectives and First Results of the
German – Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC)


In his opening speech Atsushi Taketani (Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs, METI) underlined the importance of the systematic, scientific discussion about the comparability and differences in the evaluation of the approaches for the energy transition in both countries. After the input presentations by the GJETC Co-Chairs Prof. Peter Hennicke and Prof. Masakazu Toyoda more than 100 participants who followed the invitation of the GJETC witnessed a lively discussion about the results of the study program.


A short summary of the first results can be found in the report about the 3rd Council Meeting. Prof. Jun Arima, Dr. Hiroshi Okamoto, Franzjosef Schafhausen and Prof. Eicke Weber (photo 2, from l. to r.) discussed the feasibility of the energy transition before the different framework conditions of both countries.

Program Outreach:

Program (English)
プログラム (日本語)


First GJETC Study Results Presented in Tokyo

On September 4./5. the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) met again in Tokyo. The binational expert council came together for the third time to debate joint strategies for the energy transition. During the two-day session, the participants dissected the preliminary results of the studies that have been prepared in the past months. The meeting was followed by a stakeholder dialogue with German and Japanese company representatives who discussed the role of energy conservation services and technologies with the council members. In addition, the GJETC organized a public Outreach, in which the council members presented the first results of the studies to the public. Subsequently selected council members from both sides discussed the study results in regards to the question of the feasibility of the “Energiewende” in both countries.


Prof. Masakazu Toyoda and Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke with the first results of the GJETC study program

In December 2016, a comprehensive study program of the GJETC on four study topics had been handed out to external consortia in Germany and Japan. Their task was to draw conclusions from a comparative analysis of key energy policy and economic issues in both countries. These serve as a basis for the GJETC to develop recommendations and proposals for solutions. The focus areas were (1) climate and resource-conserving long-term strategies (until 2050), (2) the overall economic and social preconditions of an energy transition, (3) electricity market design, and (4) the promotion of energy saving strategies. All studies have now been finished and analysed. The study (1) “Energy transition as a central building block of a future industrial policy”, for example, is a meta-analysis of energy transition scenarios covering the wide range of strategic options for both Japan and Germany. The scientists draw the conclusion that both countries need considerable changes compared to their recent energy system developments if they want to achieve their energy transition targets by 2030.

Prof Masakazu Toyoda, the Japanese co-chair of the GJETC, summarised the results presented: “The preliminary study results show that Japan and Germany have the possibility to substantially reduce  GHG emissions until 2050 through different approaches due to  the different national conditions. During our meeting in Tokyo, we discussed the results with a critical and constructive attitude in order to prepare our joint overall report.” Until the next meeting of the GJETC in Berlin on 14./15. February 2018, the members of the council will prepare their policy recommendations to the governments and the public of both countries based on the study results. The final reports of the study program will be published on the GJETC website.

The public event, organized by the GJETC on 6th September primarily addressed energy experts from administration staff, NGOs, and media representatives. During the event, the more than 100 participants had the chance to pose their questions to the co-chairs as well as experts of the GJETC directly and debate about the interim results. “With the event following the official council meeting, we wanted to reach all stakeholders and present the first results of the GJETC study program to a broader audience. If we want to accomplish an energy transition, it has to be supported by society as a whole,” said Prof Dr Peter Hennicke, German co-chair of the GJETC.

Publication: “The G20 states – selected official energy and climate targets”

As part of the scientific knowledge exchange the GJETC prepares Topical Papers to summarize the current knowledge regarding a specific topic, including forward-looking statements and possibly differing evaluations. The first Topical Paper on the G20 energy and climate targets was released today. It can also be found under the “Publications” section.

GJETC TP1 Header

Publications: GJETC – Interim Report 2016-17

One year after its foundation in May 2016 the GJETC has released an Interim Report summarizing the first years activities, current state of the Council’s work as well as giving a brief Outlook regarding the upcoming events and schedule. The Interim Report is available in 3 languages, English, German and Japanese, in the Publication header.


GJETC Interim Header


The role of decentralized actors for the energy transition

GJETC discusses in Berlin how energy consumers can become energy producers and drivers of renewable power generation

Berlin/Tokyo, 24 January 2017. This Tuesday, the GJETC is meeting in Berlin. During the second meeting of the council, the members of the binational expert council are discussing the chances and challenges of a structural change in energy supply with 16 representatives of the decentralized energy industry from Germany and Japan.

“The decentralization of energy supply is a key dimension of the energy transition. In the future, there might even be a tendency that millions of energy consumers could turn into ‘prosumers’ with their own generation capacities delivering electricity to the grid at times of surpluses. Therefore, the GJETC is especially interested in studying the consequences of the energy transition and the role of decentralization in Japan and Germany,” says Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, the German Chairman of the GJETC.


2nd Meeting of GJETC in Berlin (from l. to r.): Prof. Masakazu Toyoda (Co-Chair GJETC), Kotaro Kawamata (Counsellor, Embassy of Japan), Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter (Parliamentray Secretary of State, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, BMUB), Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke (Co-Chair GJETC)

Structural change towards more decentralized and citizen-oriented producers than in the past also offers great economic opportunities for rural areas through the local operation of biomass, photovoltaic and wind power plants. Germany has had the chance to gain extensive experience concerning the decentralization of the energy supply for several years, for example with co-financed cooperatives and bioenergy villages. In Japan, this development is still in its infancy following the next stage of the liberalization of power and gas markets in 2016 and 2017 respectively. However, the “1st World Community Power Conference” in Fukushima in early November 2016 showed a great interest also in Japan. The GJETC’s stakeholder dialogue on decentralization therefore provides a platform for illuminating the country-specific economic, social and cultural challenges and learning from each other.

Yesterday, the Council met for the first part of its two-day meeting at the Japanese-German Center in Berlin-Zehlendorf. In December 2016, the GJETC had already awarded four studies from its study program to external consortia. The topics address key energy policy and economic issues in both countries. The main focus lies on climate and resource-conserving long-term strategies (until 2050), the overall economic and social importance of an energy transition, electricity market design and the promotion of energy saving strategies. During the second meeting, the GJETC discussed the concepts and methods presented by the German-Japanese study participants.

The Japanese Chairman of the GJETC, Prof. Masakazu Toyoda, gave a preview on the Council’s work at the final press conference: “With the study concepts presented today, we have taken a major step towards a joint overall report. By the next meeting of the GJETC in September 2017, we expect tangible results for four comprehensive individual studies. Thereafter, the Council will draw its conclusions from these studies and from a wide range of expert advice documents and make its recommendations for a successful energy transition in Germany and Japan to industry, society and politics.”

About the GJETC:

In its form, continuity and size, the GJETC is the first German-Japanese project of climate cooperation. It was founded in close collaboration of hennicke.consult, the Wuppertal Institute, ECOS Consult and the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) in spring 2016 with strong support by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Environmental Foundation, DBU), the Mercator Foundation, German Federal Foreign Office (FFO), Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and is also endorsed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). On the German side, the Wuppertal Institute and ECOS Consult support the council’s work as secretariats; on the Japanese side, the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) takes over this part. The council will convene biannually, and the next council meeting will be held in Tokyo in September 2017.

Fostering the Energy Transition: Balancing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies

German Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Steinlein opens the „German-Japanese Energy Dialogue“ in Tokyo

Energy Efficiency is the biggest, fastest and cheapest source for climate and resource protection. The new keyword of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and also for the nations striving for full decarbonization of their energy system is „energy efficiency first“. At the same time electricity from solar or wind is getting cheaper every day. How can it be ensured that both factors foster the energy transition? German and Japanese experts discussed this question in Tokyo on November 15th, 2016.

Bild2_Eröffnung des Deutsch-Japanischen Energiedialogs

Photo (from l. to r.): Akihiro Kuroki (IEEJ), Hisashi Hoshi (IEEJ), Yukari Yamashita (IEEJ), Stephan Steinlein (Federal Foreign Office),
Peter Hennicke (Wuppertal Institute), Wilhelm Meemken (ECOS Consult)

The corresponding message of global and national long-time scenarios goes: energy efficiency plus renewable energies form the critical foundation for sustainable energy systems worldwide. The IEA estimates that energy efficiency in the energy sector can and must contribute 50 percent to the global climate protection until 2030.

But does it mean that new investments into the development of renewables should be reduced and investments into the improvement of energy efficiency should be increased, because „NEGAWATTs“ (avoidance of energy consumption) are cheaper than even more green „MEGAWATTs“? How both factors can successfully contribute to an accelerated energy transition was discussed by energy experts on the “German Japanese Energy Dialogue” on 15th November 2016 in Tokyo on invitation of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) and ECOS Consult in cooperation with the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC).


Especially Germany and Japan as wealthy high-tech countries have the know-how, the funds, the technologies and – despite different cultural backgrounds – the civic commitment to effectively realize the goal of an energy transition until the turn of the century. This is also the reason for the German Federal Foreign Office to support the newly established German-Japanese Energy Transition Council as an institutionalized, independent expert council that is working on identifying challenges and chances of the energy transition in both countries as well as giving recommendations for policy makers in both countries.

For the German Federal Foreign Office, energy and foreign policy are closely intertwined. An energetic implementation of the energy transition reduces the energy consumption as well as the dependence on energy imports; That is why the energy transition is also a provision against international political conflicts.