More joint impulses for the energy transition: Recommendations of the GJETC for Germany and Japan

Berlin/Tokyo, 16 February 2018. After two years of extensive research and internal and public discussion, the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) this week in Berlin discussed joint recommendations to politics, industry and civil society in the two high-tech countries. This resulted in the first draft of a final report. The final version of the report, which will include all the results of the joint Council’s work, will be published in March 2018. However, four key recommendations for a successful energy transition are already visible:

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Intensive discussion on the Council’s results (from l. to r.): Dagmar Dehmer (Journalist/Moderation), Prof. Masakazu Toyoda (GJETC Co-Chair), Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke (GJETC Co-Chair), Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs (TU Munich), Prof. Koji Nomura (Keio Economic Observatory), Dr. Karsten Sach (BMUB)

  • Germany and Japan will have to restructure their energy systems over the next 30 years. Through the continuous exchange of knowledge and experience, the transformation process can be accelerated and made more effective.
  • The objectives of climate protection, security of supply, competitiveness and social acceptance can be achieved at the same time. To this end, long-term targets and strategies for a low-carbon energy system must be defined and ambitiously implemented by 2050. Bilateral cooperation in the creation of scenarios and cost/benefit analyses improve the basis for decision-making.
  • Germany and Japan are the leaders in energy efficiency. Nevertheless, both countries still have great, undeveloped potential. The implementation gap to the ambitious energy saving targets is large and must be closed quickly in order to exploit the enormous advantages of energy saving. To achieve this, the principle of “Efficiency First” must be implemented in an extended and effective energy-saving governance system.
  • The liberalisation of the electricity (and gas) sector is to be pursued ambitiously in order to achieve fair market conditions for a large number of diversified suppliers and innovative technologies. New business and consumer concepts such as prosumer, municipal utilities and energy cooperations must be promoted.

“Despite the different circumstances and starting positions, Japan and Germany can learn a lot from each other in the energy transition. This has been clearly demonstrated by the Council’s work over the last two years and is reflected in our recommendations”, said Masakazu Toyoda, GJETC’s Japanese Co-Chairman, in the course of the 4th Council Meeting at the Japanese-German Centre in Berlin. The results and recommendations come from four comprehensive studies on the energy transition in Germany and Japan commissioned by the Council at the end of 2016.

The possibilities for a successful energy transition are available. But the objectives and strategies, for example with regard to energy efficiency and the expansion of renewable energies, are not always consistent. This was also discussed repeatedly during the four council meetings. “Joint solutions for the energy transition can only be found if the different interests and political objectives of both partners are clearly articulated and respected. The work of the GJETC has contributed to strengthening the trusting, scientific dialogue between Germany and Japan”, said Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, German Co-Chairman of the GJETC.

On the occasion of the 4th Council Meeting, the GJETC hosted an Outreach event at the House of Federal Press Conference in Berlin on 16 February 2018. About 100 participants, among them energy experts, ministerial representatives, parliamentarians and NGOs, informed themselves about the current status of the Council’s work and discussed the first results and recommendations with the members of the GJETC. Another public event is already planned for 20th April 2018 in Berlin.

Final Reports of GJETC Study Program Available

The results of the 4 study reports, which build the core foundation for the GJETC’s recommendations, are now finalized.  The comprehensive study program deals with 4 topics, which the Council’s experts identified to be crucial for the energy transition in both countries.

Those 4 studies had been awarded to selected consortia of renowned German and Japanese research institutes in December 2016. After intensive discussions, stakeholder dialogues and in-depth research work and a thorough reviewing process, the 4 main studies can now be downloaded below. They will be a basis for the GJETC’s policy recommendations, providing the first comprehensive comparative analysis between Japan and Germany on these issues.

The official press release is available here:

>> English

>> German


Study Topic 1: “Energy transition as a central building block of a future industrial policy – Comparison and analysis of long term energy transition scenarios

Title ST1
Key Findings

1. Both Japan and Germany have national energy transition targets and strategies. Additionally, the study compared long-term energy scenarios and the reasons behind differences.

2. A key difference is the expectations on future system costs of wind and photovoltaic (PV) energy. Germany expects high shares in energy supply due to low costs; Japan up to now expects higher costs and lower shares.

3. Japan’s island nature puts energy security as a top priority on the agenda and  perceives challenges from very high shares of fluctuating wind and PV generation.


Study Topic 2: “Strategic framework and socio-cultural aspects of the energy transition”

Title ST2

Key Findings

1. In both countries, energy policy is based on the principles of economic efficiency, energy security and environmental sustainability.

2. People in both countries have a favourable view of energy transition.

3. The study recommends a bilateral policy research dialogue between the two countries, complemented by a multi-stakeholder discussion with businesses as well as civil society and the research community.


Study Topic 3: “New allocation of roles and business segments of established and new participants in the energy sector currently and within a future electricity market design”

Title ST3
Key Findings

1. While Germany has longer and deeper experience in the liberalisation of electricity markets, both countries face similar challenges for electricity market design of the near future.
2. These concern, i.a., the flexibility options and costs for system integration of fluctuating wind and PV generation, but also coupling the power, heat, and transport sectors. Views on the future role of conventional power generation, particularly coal and nuclear, diverge.
3. New business and consumer concepts, such as prosumers, municipal utilities, and energy cooperatives, provide opportunities.

Study Topic 4: “Energy end-use efficiency potentials and policies and the development of energy service markets”

Title ST4
Key Findings

1. Both countries are already world-leading in energy productivity, also due to their existing policies.
2. Both countries have ambitious energy efficiency targets for the future based on still existing large potentials. Both have to strengthen their packages of energy efficiency policies to overcome barriers, including demand response.
3. While Germany could learn from Japan on energy efficiency in the transport sector, Japan could learn from Germany on energy-efficient buildings.

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)

METI_Taketani

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.

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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.

 

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.

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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.