Germany and Japan carry out joint research for energy transition

“Unprecedented project of academic exchanges and joint research”

Berlin/Tokyo, 28th September 2016. Today, the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) is holding its first meeting in Tokyo. In the next two days, renowned experts from both countries will engage in in-depth discussions on the core issues of the joint work. The GJETC complements a cooperation of the two nations on a political level through independent and scientific analyses. The aim is to find new, safer and more efficient ways to implement the energy transition.

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Green light for the GJETC (from l. to r.): Mr. Yota Ono (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan), Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke (Wuppertal Institute), Prof. Masakazu Toyoda (Institute of Energy Economics, Japan) and Dr. Hans Carl von Werthern (German Ambassador in Japan)

Germany and Japan face similar challenges in the development of their energy industries: Both highly industrialized countries are aiming to achieve a resource- and climate-friendly energy supply. At the same time, their aim is to promote the ecological modernization further while securing their international ability to compete. In order to meet these challenges, the GJETC was formed in 2016. The expert panel focuses on scientific stock and transformation analyses for both countries on systems, technologies and policies of the energy transition. As such it provides an important stimulus for politics and the economy.

Professor Dr Peter Hennicke, the German chairman of the GJETC and former president of the Wuppertal institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, expects the council’s work to be of great use to society: “With the GJETC Japan and Germany launch an unprecedented project of knowledge exchange and joint research on the energy transition. The mutual experience of good examples can enhance motivation and speed up the implementation processes.”

Renowned experts have been appointed to the committee. In the council, both countries are each represented by six energy experts and three associated members. Apart from organisational agreements on rules of procedure, the agenda in Tokyo contains first decisions on topics of a study program. The program thereby includes five core topics.

First, the energy transition is seen as the basis for a future industrial policy, including energy and resource efficiency. Second, the strategic goals and framework conditions of the energy transition, with regard to socio-cultural aspects are going to be dealt with. The third topic emphasizes the structuring of the energy market and sustainable electricity market design. In addition to that, the reallocation of roles and business segments between existing and new players in the energy system represent a further important core topic. Last but not least the focus of the fifth topic is the technical system developments and new technologies on the path to the energy transition.

Beside the scientific work, a regular exchange of views with players in politics and the economy is part of the council’s work. At so-called “Stakeholder Dialogues” council members will get together as a first step with representatives of international companies such as Daimler, Tepco or Enercon. Professor Masakazu Toyoda, the Japanese Chairman of the GJETC and the Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ), emphasized: “The goal of the council is to bring together the vision and the knowledge of experts from business and academia with scientific findings. For a successful energy transition, the vigorous actions of social players are essential.”

About the GJETC:

In its form, continuity and size, the GJETC is the first German-Japanese cooperation project on energy transition. 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 Stiftung Mercator Foundation, German Federal Foreign Office, 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. The next council meetings will be held in Berlin on 23rd/24th January 2017 and in Tokyo on 4th/5th September 2017.