GJETC focuses on intensified climate change

Berlin/Tokyo, September 14, 2021. The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) has decided to further develop its study program. The background is the risks of increasing weather extremes and unabated climate change, but also the potential economic opportunities of a climate neutrality strategy. The more ambitious climate protection goals of countries such as the USA, China, the EU, Japan and Germany, as well as the agenda of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, make new focal points of the study program necessary. At its eleventh Council meeting, held in hybrid form in Berlin, the GJETC deliberated on the current situation and agreed on additional studies on decarbonization of industry, battery systems and long-term scenarios, among others.

“The year 2021 has so far been marked by severe weather anomalies that have been felt all over the world. Added to this are new scientific findings from the IPCC and the agenda now available for the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Glasgow in November 2021. The geopolitical environment has changed with a higher level of ambition from leading countries on climate change and the return of the US to the Paris Climate Agreement. That is why GJETC strategy and study program is rapidly increasing in importance,” explained new Japanese co-chair Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa. “New insights into the increasing risks of climate change, as well as the opportunities for a socio-ecological transformation toward climate neutrality, mean new scientific challenges regarding the goals and implementation steps of climate change policy. The GJETC will include related fundamental strategy issues in its planned German-Japanese scenario comparison,” Terazawa added.

Following the retirement of Prof. Masakazu Toyoda in July 2021, Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa has been appointed as the new Japanese co-chair of the GJETC. Tatsuya Terazawa has been CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) since July 2021, which has done research work for the Japanese Ministry of Economy (METI) for decades and has been a major supporter of the GJETC’s founding. Previously, Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa served as a Vice-Minister to several Japanese governments. He covered various responsibilities including industrial policy and energy security.

“With Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa, we have an outstanding expert on energy supply strategies as a new discussion and cooperation partner. I look forward to constructive work with him and am certain that together with the GJETC we will contribute to solution approaches for increased climate protection. At its core, this continues to be about finding scientifically robust pathways towards a low-risk energy system of the future as well as a just socio-ecological transformation. Ambitious climate protection is not an economic burden but increases competitiveness in the global lead markets for energy, environmental and climate protection technologies”, said the German co-chair of the GJETC, Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke.

Hennicke himself was awarded the “Order of the Rising Sun” by the Japanese government in May for his ongoing commitment to the GJETC. This is one of Japan’s highest honors for individuals who have made a significant contribution to Japanese culture and society. The official presentation of the Order took place following the GJETC Council meeting on September 13, 2021 at the Embassy of Japan in Berlin.

Increasing the Ambition Level of Climate Mitigation – New Challenges and Opportunities for International Cooperation on the Energy Transition

First Young Scientist Stakeholder Dialogue of the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC)

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021
09:00 – 12:15 CET / 16:00 – 19:15 JST

The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council seeks to contribute to the acceleration of energy transitions by fostering the binational exchange between German and Japanese researchers investigating energy matters related to Japan and/or Germany. While also considering the security of energy supply, social well-being and the international competitiveness of the economy, the council intends to develop energy solutions and policies that are in line with the ambitious climate change mitigation commitments of both countries.

To widen its perspective and intensify the dialogue among researchers engaged in that research field the GJETC invited 8 young scientists to present their current research activities which possibly stimulate new research fields within the Council and discuss this term’s study topics of the GJETC.

Agenda of the First Stakeholder Dialogue with Young Scientists

German GJETC Chairman receives “Order of the Rising Sun” from Japanese Government

Berlin/Tokyo, 10 May 2021: On 29 April 2021, the Japanese government awarded the Co-Chair of the German Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC), Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, with the “Order of the Rising Sun Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon”. This is one of Japan’s highest awards to individuals who have made a significant contribution to Japanese culture and society. Prof. Hennicke receives the Order for his ongoing commitment and work for the GJETC. The official awarding ceremony of the Order is planned for the next GJETC Council meeting in September 2021 at the Embassy of Japan in Berlin.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Toshimitsu Motegi conveyed his congratulations to Prof. Hennicke, who expressed his gratitude for the award: “I feel this honourable order as a great encouragement for the GJETC’s work to intensify our cooperation. The award shows that we have jointly created an international role model for scientific cooperation. Despite different framework conditions and energy policy priorities, we have managed to establish a continuous, science-based exchange of knowledge and joined pathways in search for ways to achieve climate neutrality for our countries.”
The award of the Order to Prof. Hennicke by the Japanese government is an expression of appreciation for the GJETC’s work and its policy recommendations. The Council was founded in 2016 and is composed of 16 renowned German and Japanese energy experts. Together, the GJETC established science-based cooperation between the two countries on issues of global warming and the energy transition. Since its founding, the Council has produced numerous analyses, held Outreach events in Berlin and Tokyo and formulated recommendations on the energy transition to the Japanese and German governments in support of the German-Japanese Energy Partnership.
“The new global climate policy dynamics, driven by more ambitious GHG reduction targets of the EU, China and now also the USA, are opening up encouraging perspectives and new opportunities for the German-Japanese Energy Partnership,” Prof. Hennicke continues. “My colleagues in the GJETC and I consider this as an obligation to contribute as much as possible to accelerated climate protection as well as to develop pathways to a low-risk energy system and a just socio-ecological transformation.”

Source: Wuppertal Institute/S. Michaelis

GJETC presents new studies: Digitalization, decarbonization options for the industry and impact of the Corona pandemic on climate policy

Berlin/Tokyo, April 30, 2021. Today, the German Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) publishes three studies prepared during the last year. The Council, consisting of renowned scientists from Germany and Japan, is committed to science-based cooperation on issues related to global climate heating and energy transition. The studies deal with key questions for the energy transition in both countries: How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data be utilized to optimize power grid operation? To what extend can Carbon Capture and Usage (CCU) and Hydrogen contribute to the decarbonization of energy-intensive industries? And which impact of COVID-19 can be observed on energy consumption, social behaviour and climate policy? From the individual studies, the GJETC has also derived recommendations for policymakers in Germany and Japan.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the energy transition is making progress worldwide, and with the return of the USA to the Paris climate agreement, achieving more ambitious global climate targets seems more realistic again. In this process, countries can benefit from cooperation on climate policies, create climate-friendly development models, and advance a balanced transition of their energy systems while ensuring a secure energy supply. This is also indicated by the latest results of studies conducted by the GJETC.

Prof. Masakazu Toyoda, the Japanese Co-Chair of the GJETC, puts the findings into context: “The results show that Japan and Germany have the opportunity to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and aim at carbon neutrality by 2050 with the help of various country-specific approaches. Our studies find that the consistent use of new technologies, innovative methods to use and store carbon dioxide, and active and future-oriented climate policies after the COVID-19 pandemic play an important role in achieving these goals.”

The German Co-Chair, Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, adds: “The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with an example of how we can achieve unprecedented impacts through decisive and rapid policy actions. Policymakers around the world should use the global stimulus programs as an ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to initiate and foster a more ambitious economic structural change in the direction of sustainability. As GJETC, we accompany this change scientifically and provide guidance and orientation through our studies.”

Study 1: Digitalization and the Energy Transition – Use of digitalization to optimize grid operation utilizing AI and Big Data collected from DERs

This study deals with the use of smart grid technology and other digital technologies to harness Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in order to enable integration of a higher share of Variable Renewable Energy Sources (VRE) in the distribution grid. Use cases, technical solutions particularly based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), business models, and experiences in both countries are discussed, but also needs for regulation that will enable their roll-out.

Study 2: Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) and Hydrogen Contributing to Decarbonization of Energy-intensive Industries

This study explores policy directions and possible technologies to decarbonize the industry sector in Germany and Japan because it would be difficult for both countries to achieve the carbon neutrality by 2050 without the sector’s efforts of reducing CO2. In particular, hydrogen direct use, blending hydrogen with natural gas, and CCUS were the subjects studied. Hydrogen direct use and CCU were found most promising for both countries and their potential cooperation on R&D, policy frameworks, and international sustainability and safety standards for hydrogen.

Study 3: Energy and Climate Policy in the Post COVID-19 era – Comparative Analyses on Germany and Japan

This short and preliminary study focuses on Germany and Japan and tries to identify possible impacts of COVID-19 on the economy and related energy consumption/CO2-emissions and on possible induced long-term structural and behaviour changes. It analyses the recovery programs and their possible impacts on sustainable structural change and on the style of policymaking. Finally, it suggests setting up a more comprehensive German-Japanese research project that compares the long run effects of the COVID-19 crisis for both countries.

New highlights of the German-Japanese cooperation on energy transition research

Berlin/Tokyo, March 12, 2021. The German Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) looks back on four years of fruitful international cooperation. During today’s meeting, results of three studies that the Council has recently conducted were presented. In addition to the topics of hydrogen use and digitization of the energy sector, one study also looked at the impact of Covid-19 on energy transition efforts. Thus, the GJETC continues the preparation of scientific studies and policy recommendations and seeks broad technical and societal exchanges to accelerate energy transitions.

Source: iStock

Challenges of safe and decarbonized energy production for Japan and Germany are growing. On the one hand both countries are facing the consequences of climate change and belong to the states with highest Climate-risk-index. On the other hand, both countries can benefit from ambitious climate change policies, create climate benign growth patterns, and drive a just transition of their energy systems while ensuring stable energy security. The Covid-19 pandemic also triggers the discussion on “green recovery” particularly in Europe and how to invest in a more sustainable future. Thus, international cooperation is more than ever important to exchange good practice and create innovation partnerships.

“The long-term scenarios for the future direction of energy policy are still being intensively discussed in both Germany and Japan. We greatly appreciate cooperation and technological knowledge transfer between nations that operate on an equal level and share the same goals and values,” stated the Japanese co-chair of the GJETC, Prof. Masakazu Toyoda at today’s meeting.

At the council meetings, results of ongoing research on digital applications for grid optimization, on carbon recycling and other technologies to decarbonize energy intensive industries, and on long-term effects of the Corona pandemic on the energy transition process in both countries were presented. In addition, the members discussed possible further research topics such as long-term scenario analyses up to 2050 or the energy and climate nexus of the circular economy.

“Various crises, such as climate change and the Corona pandemic, must be addressed through political action. Devastating economic damage from the pandemic and advancing climate change can be mitigated through support programs, preferably with intensive international cooperation. This would also be an important signal to the public in terms of ambitious policies and actions,” said Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, German co-chairman of the GJETC.

Due to the ongoing global corona pandemic, the GJETC’s council meeting was held virtually. In the 3rd phase of the council’s work, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) takes over funding for the GJETC from the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU).

Participation of GJETC representatives in the 11th German-Japanese Environment and Energy Dialogue Forum

The 11th German-Japanese Environment and Energy Dialogue Forum (EEDF) took place online from 16th – 18th February 2021. Presentations and lively discussions on the topic of “Preparing the Industry for Tomorrow: Decarbonization as Industrial Policy – Political, Technical and Social Pathways and the Role of Hydrogen” attracted almost 300 participants each day.

Representatives of the GJETC also contributed to the Forum’s topics. In session 2, Council Members Prof. Jun Arima and Dr. Felix Matthes contributed to the question of “How to reach GHG-neutrality in the industry sector?” and presented key technologies for the decarbonization of the industrial sector as seen by recent studies. In a Networking Session titled “Covid-19 and the long-term effect on economies and GHG emissions”, Co-chair Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke and IEEJ researcher Dr. Ichiro Kutani provided an input on Covid-19 impact on the economies and emissions and compared the recovery programs in both countries.   

Program and presentation download: https://gj-eedf.org

Background of EEDF: The German-Japanese Environment and Energy Dialogue Forum is a renowned platform for the information exchange between experts from industry, academia and politics of both countries on current environment and energy related issues. The 11th edition was organized by the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the German Ministry of Economy and Energy and the New Energy (BMWi) and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) in co-operation with the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of the Environment (MoEJ).

Networking Session with Co-chair Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke and IEEJ researcher Dr. Ichiro Kutani about the Covid-19 impact on the economies and emissions in Japan and Germany

GJETC calls for integrated programs against the corona pandemic and for climate protection

Berlin/Tokyo, 2 July 2020. The German and Japanese members of the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC), in today’s outreach event at the end of the second phase of the Council, issued a joint statement calling for linking the fight against the effects of the coronavirus with the fight against global warming. They also presented the results of the Council’s work over the past two years and ten urgent recommendations to policy-makers. The Council members call, among other things, for ambitious energy and climate targets and the promotion of energy efficiency. Both the Covid-19 crisis and climate protection require immediate, global and long-term action.

“In view of the corona pandemic, governments around the world have taken comprehensive emergency measures in recent months to contain the disease and its effects. This is an unprecedented signal for collective action in the face of a global crisis. We are also calling for this determination in the fight against progressive climate warming as an indispensable part,” said the Japanese co-chair of GJETC, Prof. Masakazu Toyoda. The emphasis of national economic stimulus packages on a secure, affordable and sustainable energy system transformation can therefore help to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the pandemic and at the same time trigger new fields of innovation and employment.

GJETC Report_Cover

“Even though estimates for global CO2 emissions are predicting a significant reduction for 2020, this is not the time for complacency. After all, this reduction is not the result of efforts by governments or companies to combat global warming, but is due to the shutdown of economic activity and the economic impact of the corona pandemic. Forecasts assume that without a climate-friendly course of global economic recovery, the original or even higher CO2 emission levels will be reached”, added the German co-chair of GJETC, Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke.

In order to finance the economic stimulus packages against the consequences of the Corona crisis, a substantial increase in new public debt is inevitable. However, the more new investments and business areas for climate protection technologies are promoted, the lower the future financial burdens on the budget and the more positive the employment effects. Gearing the unprecedented global economic aid towards combating climate change is therefore also a historic opportunity to drive forward ecological modernization through state incentives. By contrast, to use the economic stimulus packages to continue to support inefficient and carbon-rich projects would mean not only losing many opportunities for innovation and decarbonising business fields, but possibly losing the fight against global warming, the GJETC said in its statement.

The full GJETC statement can be downloaded here

Study results and policy recommendations

In addition to the statement on the Corona crisis, GJETC also presented the results produced in the second phase of the Council’s work during the virtual outreach event. In the context of the study on the “Hydrogen Society”, GJETC examined the different strategies of Japan and Germany with regard to the use and establishment of hydrogen in society to reduce emissions. The study “Digitalization and the energy transition” dealt with the use of Virtual Power Plants (VPP) as well as the benefits of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) electricity trading and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Furthermore, the results of the four working groups (Energy Efficiency in Buildings; Transportation and sector coupling; Climate & Energy policy, Targets, Plans and Strategies: The role of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; Integration cost of Variable Renewable Energies) were presented.

The final discussion on the results took place in a virtual council meeting on 22 June. In order to achieve climate neutrality, Germany and Japan must review their emission reduction targets set so far, grade up their ambitions in the implementation of climate targets, drive technological and social innovation and solidify the overall commitment of the projects.

The GJETC Report 2020 as well as the results of the studies and working groups of the second phase can be found at www.gjetc.org.

Webinar: Results & Policy Recommendations of the GJETC Phase II 2018-2020 in the light of Covid-19

On Thursday, 2nd July 2020, from 10:00-11:30 the GJETC will be presenting final results of the 2nd phase of the GJETC (2018-2020) along with the policy recommendations derived from the reports in it’s first Webinar. Aside from the 2 core topics of the 2nd phase “Hydrogen Society” and “Digitization & Energy Transition”, the working groups have prepared input papers in bilateral cooperation between the respective GJETC experts on numerous issues:

  • Energy Efficiency in Buildings
  • Long-term Scenarios and Review Mechanisms
  • Transportation & Sector-Coupling
  • Integration Costs of Renewable Energy Sources

GJETC Webinar

In addition, a special spotlight will be put on the topic “energy transition and the corona crisis”. The Co-Chairs of the GJETC Prof. Peter Hennicke and Prof. Masakazu Toyoda will give will give insight on the German and Japanese view on this topic.

Event Language: English

Costs: The participation is free of charge (no limit to participants)

Program (English)

Programm (Deutsch)

プログラム (日本語)

Outreach: Results & Policy Recommendations of the GJETC Phase II 2018-2020


On Friday March 20th 2020, from 10:00-12:00 the GJETC will be presenting final results of the 2nd phase of the GJETC (2018-2020) along with the policy recommendations derived from the reports, during a public Outreach at the Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB). Aside from the 2 core topics of the 2nd phase “Hydrogen Society” and “Digitization & Energy Transition”, the working groups have prepared input papers in bilateral cooperation between the respective GJETC experts on numerous issues:

  • Energy Efficiency in Buildings
  • Long-term Scenarios and Review Mechanisms
  • Transportation & Sector-Coupling
  • Integration Costs of Renewable Energy Sources

GJETC Outreach Panel

In addition, Prof. Hennicke, Co-Chair of the GJETC, will give insight on the GJETC as a role model for bilateral scientific cooperation as well as future perspectives within the framework of the German-Japanese Energy Partnership. These points will also be discussed in the concluding discussion round by GJETC Co-Chairs Prof. Toyoda and Prof. Hennicke, GJETC member Prof. Jun Arima as well as representatives of the Federal Ministry for Economic and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

Registration: CLOSED

Language: Simultaneous translation German/Japanese

Costs: The participation is free of charge, but the number of participants is limited (first come, first serve)

Program (English)

Programm (Deutsch)

プログラム (日本語)

Stabilizing the energy supply under growing shares of Renewables

Tokyo, 24th September 2019. On September 23th and 24th the 7th meeting of the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) was held in Tokyo. In addition, the council organized an Outreach Event on the afternoon of the second day to inform about the unbundling of electricity markets and management options.

Japan is restructuring its electricity market and competing energy suppliers, unbundling grid and competitive balancing markets are the results. Digitization can enable system operators, producers, traders, consumers and storage providers to co-operate and use the renewable power instead of wasting it. This hypothesis is the background for a study conducted by the GJETC. The Wuppertal Institute and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) as the scientific secretariats of the GJETC, analysed concepts of virtual power plants and their underlying business models as well as the use of Blockchain technology. The focus was set on case studies such as the German company Next Kraftwerke and the US energy supplier Pacific Gas & Electric. First results have been discussed at the 7th meeting of the council.

Group picture 7. Council meeting
Group picture of GJETC members and staff on the 7th council meeting in Tokyo.

The study shows that Virtual Power Plants (VPP) business models may be largely dependent upon the regulatory framework, renewable energy resources, the electricity supply system as well as the electricity market system. Experiences from Germany show that for example the gradual expiration of FIT (Feed-in Tariff), which is also the case for Japan, will create a favourable business environment for VPP. IT systems and market structure on the other hand currently do not seem to influence VPP models significantly. However, as Germany is the only country with fully commercialized VPP so far this might very well change in the future as maturing markets might lead to different developments and results in other countries.

At the Outreach Event held on September 24th, Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Deputy Director of the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission, Dr. Boris Rigault, Head of the Field Industrial Steam Turbines at Siemens AG and Steffen Riediger, Director European Power Derivatives at European Energy Exchange (EEX) explained their efforts and achievements in trying to attain stabilized electric systems under growing shares of renewable energy.

Outreach Event Electricity Markets
External experts and council members at the Outreach Event on September 24th: Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt (Deputy Director of the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission), Junichi Ogasawara (IEEJ), Dr. Boris Rigault (Head of the Field Industrial Steam Turbines at Siemens AG) and Steffen Riediger (Director European Power Derivatives at European Energy Exchange, short EEX).

“Experiences in Europe show that integrating a high share of renewable energy production into the electricity markets means providing flexibility on the generation and demand sides, as well as creating strong price signals”, said Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt during the Event. The Outreach is intended to provide both strategic and in-depth insights on selected topics related to electricity markets and growing shares of renewable energy production in both countries.

The next scheduled council meeting will be held in Berlin on 18th and 19th March 2020. A video on the concept and work of the GJETC as well as study results, input papers, and a final report of the 1st phase (in English, summaries in Japanese and German) can be downloaded in the Publication section of the website.