During its first phase (2016 – 2018), the Council established a common basis for its work with the study program. It covers four different topics: electricity market design, energy efficiency, socio-cultural aspects and scenario analysis. The Council’s work and in particular its study program supported by Stiftung Mercator (Mercator Foundation) is based on the concept of mutual learning from both good examples and shortcomings.

Each study therefore contained three work packages:

  1. The analysis of the specific topic by a German institute (concerning Germany) and a Japanese institute (concerning Japan), provides results of analysis regarding at least the questions listed for each country, following a joint structure. Research is to be conducted on the existing results and knowledge.

  2. Mutual comments: the German institute comments the Japanese analysis and vice versa. Then both institutes work out a synopsis of points of similar results or understanding as well as points of diverging results. A first analysis of potential reasons for diverging results is also expected.

  3. Conclusions on joint or differentiated policy recommendations and business opportunities will be prepared. Open research questions will also be identified.

Several strategic topics (ST) have been identified in the discussion with Japanese and German experts as being of mutual interests for both sides. In joint collaboration of German and Japanese partners, studies for four topics were prepared between January and December 2017. The results of these studies can be found below.

Study Topic 1:

Energy transition as a central building block of a future industrial policy –

Comparison and analysis of energy transition scenarios

Title ST1

Study Topic 2:

Strategic framework and socio-cultural aspects of the energy transition

Title ST2

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

Study Topic 4:

Energy end-use efficiency potentials and policies & the development of energy service markets

Title ST4


For its second phase (2018 – 2020), the Council established working groups to further increase knowledge about strategic topics of the energy transition:

  • Working group „Review of German and Japanese long-term energy transition scenarios and their evaluation mechanism“
  • Working group „Buildings, energy efficiency, heating/cooling“
  • Working group „Integration costs of renewable energy sources“
  • Working group „Transport and sector coupling“
  • Study and facilitating working group „Digitalization“
  • Study and facilitating working group „Hydrogen Society”