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.

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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).