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.