Study Topics

The work of GJETC is based on the principle of sound comparative energy research. One main task of the GJETC is a study program using evidence-based scenarios and system analysis.

Over the next months, the GJETC will conduct a comprehensive study program according to transparent procedures, built on bilateral consortia of renowned research institutes. The GJETC will synthesize the findings from the study program as well as from other research inputs and dialogues to an interim and final report.

Within the framework of the study program of GJETC, five studies will be conducted. The topics have been adopted during the 1st Council meeting on 28./29. September 2016:

1. Energy transition as a central building block of a future industrial policy – Comparison and analysis of energy transition scenarios

The respective costs and the corresponding added value for tax payers, industry and the total economy are one of the main questions for the acceptance and willingness in implementing a national energy transition. An energy transition needs to cover strategies to decarbonize the energy supply with the help of various low-carbon energy sources and to reduce the energy demand by energy efficiency. Both countries are already on top international positions regarding investments in energy technologies.

2. Strategic framework and socio-cultural aspects of the energy transition

The transition from an economic model driven by fossil energy to a sustainable and low-carbon society requires specific national framework conditions in the different sectors, especially if the transition and the resulting system shall be designed to be secure in the long-term, be reliable and affordable. A strategic framework taking these objectives into account and defining specific roadmaps and targets.

Furthermore, in addition to technical possibilities and the existing energy supply of a country that is often co-determined by domestic resources, there are socio-cultural aspects building a substantial precondition in the society for a successful transition.

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

For the success of an energy transition not only technological preconditions, but also a societal transformation (also shown by institutional adaptation and innovation) is necessary.  Important drivers of a long-run transition of the energy system are sub-national entities (regions or municipalities), which, like in Germany, often follow more ambitious targets compared to national institutions and could function as lighthouses. The opportunities and challenges for the development of sub-national entities but also established energy companies depend heavily on the national frame conditions especially  on the current and future electricity market design. Therefore, it is crucial to discuss the role of established and new participants in the energy sector within the context of the specific and different national framework conditions (particularly the electricity market design and the corresponding legislation and regulation) in Japan and Germany.

4. Energy end-use efficiency policies and the development of energy service markets energy efficiency

Energy efficiency measures can lead to considerable energy savings, and hence, to energy cost savings. Various studies show that a high saving potential exists. Furthermore, energy end-use efficiency measures can avoid losses in energy conversion from primary energy into useful energy. Making full use of these potentials, however, requires the removal of barriers and correction of market and state failures.

Both countries – Germany additionally in the context of European energy policy – have been able to gain experience in the development and implementation of new energy end-use efficiency policies and in the development of markets for energy efficiency measures by energy service companies (ESCOs).

5. Development of technical systems and new technologies on the way to an energy transition

Modern energy technologies are strategic sectors for both Japan’s and Germany’s future. Both countries have leading positions in various technologies (e.g. wind energy, PV, electro mobility, storage systems, fuel cells) and are planning to increase R&D activities.

However, there still exists considerable technology potential, which could benefit future energy supply. These include the further development of new technologies (e.g. power-to-gas) or the diffusion of technologies and concepts that still have a comparatively low market share. Various technology cooperation possibilities for both countries exist, and the technological leadership regarding several technologies could be expanded with a systematic and continuous cooperation.