Stabilizing the energy supply under growing shares of Renewables

Tokyo, 24th September 2019. On September 23th and 24th the 7th meeting of the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) was held in Tokyo. In addition, the council organized an Outreach Event on the afternoon of the second day to inform about the unbundling of electricity markets and management options.

Japan is restructuring its electricity market and competing energy suppliers, unbundling grid and competitive balancing markets are the results. Digitization can enable system operators, producers, traders, consumers and storage providers to co-operate and use the renewable power instead of wasting it. This hypothesis is the background for a study conducted by the GJETC. The Wuppertal Institute and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) as the scientific secretariats of the GJETC, analysed concepts of virtual power plants and their underlying business models as well as the use of Blockchain technology. The focus was set on case studies such as the German company Next Kraftwerke and the US energy supplier Pacific Gas & Electric. First results have been discussed at the 7th meeting of the council.

Group picture 7. Council meeting
Group picture of GJETC members and staff on the 7th council meeting in Tokyo.

The study shows that Virtual Power Plants (VPP) business models may be largely dependent upon the regulatory framework, renewable energy resources, the electricity supply system as well as the electricity market system. Experiences from Germany show that for example the gradual expiration of FIT (Feed-in Tariff), which is also the case for Japan, will create a favourable business environment for VPP. IT systems and market structure on the other hand currently do not seem to influence VPP models significantly. However, as Germany is the only country with fully commercialized VPP so far this might very well change in the future as maturing markets might lead to different developments and results in other countries.

At the Outreach Event held on September 24th, Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Deputy Director of the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission, Dr. Boris Rigault, Head of the Field Industrial Steam Turbines at Siemens AG and Steffen Riediger, Director European Power Derivatives at European Energy Exchange (EEX) explained their efforts and achievements in trying to attain stabilized electric systems under growing shares of renewable energy.

Outreach Event Electricity Markets
External experts and council members at the Outreach Event on September 24th: Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt (Deputy Director of the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission), Junichi Ogasawara (IEEJ), Dr. Boris Rigault (Head of the Field Industrial Steam Turbines at Siemens AG) and Steffen Riediger (Director European Power Derivatives at European Energy Exchange, short EEX).

“Experiences in Europe show that integrating a high share of renewable energy production into the electricity markets means providing flexibility on the generation and demand sides, as well as creating strong price signals”, said Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt during the Event. The Outreach is intended to provide both strategic and in-depth insights on selected topics related to electricity markets and growing shares of renewable energy production in both countries.

The next scheduled council meeting will be held in Berlin on 18th and 19th March 2020. A video on the concept and work of the GJETC as well as study results, input papers, and a final report of the 1st phase (in English, summaries in Japanese and German) can be downloaded in the Publication section of the website.

Outreach: Unbundling of Electricity Markets and Management Options

Japan is in the process of restructuring its electricity market, e.g. introducing competition in supply, unbundling, and competitive balancing markets. Germany, as a member state of the European Union, has already restructured its power market in the years since 1998. Both countries, however, will have to develop their electricity markets further to master the energy transition. This concerns particularly the integration of large shares of generation based on mostly variable renewable energy.

Following the 7th GJETC Council Meeting on 23rd/24th September in Tokyo the GJETC is organizing an Outreach Event to discuss this issue with the public:

“Management Options for Unbundled & Secure Electricity Markets with Growing Shares of Renewable Energy –

Needs, Experiences, and Options for Japanese-German Cooperation”

Electricity Market

When? Tuesday, September 24th, 14:30-16:30

Where? Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ), Tokyo

The Outreach Event is intended to provide both strategic and in-depth insights on selected topics related to electricity markets and growing shares of renewable energy production in both countries. The invited experts represent a mix of government, science/academia and the private sector. The input presentations and discussion are intended to lead to a better understanding of the possibilities of bilateral collaboration on the Energy transition.


Simultaneous translation German <> Japanese


Program (English)


GJETC 2.0 – Project enters next stage with new concept & new faces

After two years of successful work which culminated in an extensive 800 pages study program and a Final Report published in April 2018, the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) will continue its work in a 2nd phase from this fall. Thanks to the renewed support of the German Environment Foundation (DBU), the German Federal Foreign Office and the Japanese Ministry of Economy and Trade (METI), the Council will independently develop ideas and alternative options for a long-term and sustainable energy supply strategy in both countries in the next 2 years.

German-Japanese-Energy-Transition-Council-GJETC-GroupPhoto: GJETC 2.0 in Tokyo during 5th Council Meeting on 14th November

“The 2nd GJETC working phase comes just in the right timing as the long-term scenarios for the future alignment of energy policy are intensively discussed in Germany as well as in Japan. In the forerun to COP 24 in Poland and G20 summit in Japan, German and Japanese German governmental bodies and organizations intensified their consultations in several fields related to energy system of the future. For these discussions, the GJETC is a unique project of independent bilateral scientific cooperation, which aims to continue to give science-based impulses for the energy policy in both countries”, stated Prof. Peter Hennicke, German Co-Chair of the GJETC.

German-Japanese-Energy-Transition-Council-GJETC-Hennicke-Toyoda-METIPhoto: Prof. Masakazu Toyoda (center) reviewing the 1st phase together with his German counterpart Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke (right) and Masayoshi Yamakage (left), Director Policy Planning Division, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Department of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE)

GJETC 2.0 will adopt a new working style. In addition to the biannual meetings, working groups including Council Members as well as external experts from industry and civil society will be installed to facilitate a more focused research on specific topics („bottlenecks“) of energy transition identified in phase 1. A special focus will be set on the review of German and Japanese long-term scenarios (for 2050) and their evaluation mechanisms as well as on building energy efficiency and heating/cooling. Furthermore, two fundamental studies on “H2 Society“ and the Role of „Digitization for the Energy Transition“ will be carried out and accompanied by the Council.

In order to cover all the diverse topics while preserving the core of the Council, some new members have been introduced: Prof. Dr. Andreas Loeschel, Chair of Microeconomics at the University of Muenster and Member of the German Governmental Energy Transition Monitoring Expert Group; Dr. Harry Lehmann, General Director at the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA); Dr. Carsten Rolle, Head of Department for Energy and Climate Policy at the Federation of German Industries (BDI); Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President of the renowned Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

The next Council meetings are held in Tokyo on November 14/15, 2018 and in Berlin on March 6/7, 2019. A video on the concept and work of the GJETC as well as the study results, input papers, and final report of the 1st phase (in English, summaries in Japanese and German) can be downloaded from the GJETC website.

The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council presents results of its two-year work

Energy Transition: Disruptive change requires international cooperation

Berlin/ Tokyo Friday, 20th April 2018. The challenges and also potentials of the energy transition are tremendous in Germany, as well as in Japan. Sometimes, structures of the old energy world need “creative destruction” to clear the way for innovations for a decarbonized, low-risk energy system. In these times of disruptive changes, a constructive and sometimes controversial dialog within leading industrial nation as Japan and Germany over the energy transition is even more important. The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) today released results of two years of fruitful dialogue.

The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council is an international model project to strengthen the exchange of knowledge over technologies, policies and the effects of the energy transition. The concept is based on the conviction that joint solutions accelerate the realization of the energy transition, if national differences, different interests, motivations and values between the partner are made transparent, clearly articulated and respected. This can also serve as an example for other countries.

GJETC Report 2018

Besides the 800 pages of study results of the German-Japanese research consortia on core subjects of the energy transition, the council also published a row of strategical input papers. In three stakeholder dialogues with the industry, with producers and users of energy efficiency technologies and with decentralized actors of the energy transition, as well as in two outreach events with 100 participants each the Council continuously searched for a broad discussion with the public.

Today, the council presented a summarizing report for the first project phase. It includes jointly formulated recommendations for politics as well as a controversial dialogue part. Around 80 experts from ministries, industry and academia as well as parliamentarians and NGOs attended the presentation of the report in the Press and Visitors’ Center of the Federal Government in Berlin.

The Council jointly states and recommends that:

  • Ambitious long-term targets and strategies for a low-carbon energy system must be defined and ambitiously implemented; Germany and Japan as high technology countries need to take the leadership.
  • Both countries will have to restructure their energy systems substantially until 2050 while maintaining their competitiveness and securing energy supply.
  • Highest priority is given to the forced implementation of efficiency technologies and renewable energies, despite different views on nuclear energy.
  • In both countries all relevant stakeholders – but above all the decision-makers on all levels of energy policy – need to increase their efforts for a successful implementation of the energy transition.
  • Design of the electricity market needs more incentives for flexibility options and for the extensive expansion of variable power generation, alongside with strategies for cost reduction for electricity from photovoltaic and wind energy.
  • The implementation gap of the energy efficiency needs to be closed by an innovative energy policy package to promote the principle of “Energy Efficiency First”.
  • Synergies and co-benefits of an enhanced energy and resource efficiency policy need to be realized.
  • Co-existence of central infrastructure and the growing diversity of the activities for decentralization (citizens funding, energy cooperatives, establishment of public utility companies) should be supported.
  • Scientific cooperation can be intensified by a joint working group for scenarios and by the establishment of an academic exchange program.

The members of the Council jointly determined that “the GJETC has created a format and role model, that enables science-based policy advice, close to politics but independent from political interference.“ The members of the Council therefore agreed that the successful work of the GJETC should be continued and raised to a new level in a second phase (2018-2020).

Outreach: Presentation of GJETC 1st Phase Results (Berlin Edition)

In the face of the paltry ambitious global implementation of the Paris Agreement Japan and Germany, as leading industrialized nations, have a special responsibility to contribute towards a global decarbonization. The vivid – and sometimes also controversial dialogue – on ways and means for the energy transition is more important than ever.


Within the framework of the “German-Japanese Energy Transition Council” (GJETC) experts from Germany and Japan have been working on analyzing the challenges of the energy transition in Germany and Japan in the past 2 years in order to develop policy advice how the energy transition in both countries can be accelerated by collaborative learning.

The mutual recommendations for the different stakeholders from politics, industry and civil society will be presented and discussed by the Council from German and Japanese side in a public Outreach event together with the question of the role of such a form of binational cooperation in the international context.

The Importance of International Cooperation under Disruptive Changes:

Recommendations & Lessons Learnt from a Fruitful German-Japanese Dialogue on the Energy Transition

Friday, 20th April 2018, 14:00 to 16:00

Press and Visitors’ Center of the Federal Government (PBZ) in Berlin


“Two years of cooperation in the GJETC – Recommendation and Critical Dialogue
(Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, German Co-Chair GJETC; Prof. Dr. Jun Arima, GJETC Council Member)

“Energy situation in Japan, policy review and NEDO’s activities”
(Takashi Omote, New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organization, NEDO)

“A resource efficient pathway towards a greenhouse gas neutral Germany”
(Dr. Harry Lehmann, Federal Environmental Agency, UBA)


Outreach: Energy Transition in Germany & Japan: Consensus and Controversy

MdB Sylvia Kotting-Uhl  MdB Klaus Mindrup

GJETC Outreach Panel GJETC Outreach Q&A Session


How can a long-term and risk-minimizing energy strategy which protects the climate and natural resources and at the same time creates jobs and drives the economy be realized? This is a challenge where international cooperation is more important than ever. As leading industrialized nations, Germany and Japan have a special responsibility to take the lead for implementing the “Paris Agreement” and to contribute as much as possible to a global deep decarbonization pathway. Since its foundation in May 2016, the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) has been working on strategic and systemic analysis to develop policy advice for new and long-term perspectives on the way to an ambitious energy transition.


At the Outreach event of GJETC in Berlin, the co-chairs and members of the GJETC shared the results and first recommendations of the Council and discussed it with a broader audience. Around 100 participants attended the 2-hour event at the Conference Center in the Federal Press Conference just around the corner of the German Reichstag. After opening remarks by MdB Sylvia Kotting-Uhl (Chairwoman of the Committee for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of the German Bundestag) and MdB Klaus Mindrup (Member of the German-Japanese Parliamentary Group), the two co-chairs of the GJETC, Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke and Prof. Masakazu Toyoda, presented the results of the study program including first recommendations.



GJETC Outreach: Introduction GJETC & Results ST1
(Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, German Co-Chair GJETC)
GJETC Outreach: Results ST2 & ST3
(Prof. Masakazu Toyoda, Japanese Co-Chair GJETC)
GJETC Outreach: Results ST4
(Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, German Co-Chair GJETC)


ECOS Consult
Tel: +49-541-911 909-93
Fax: +49-541-911 909-99


Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)
Tel: +81-3-5547-0211
Fax: +81-3-5547-0223


More joint impulses for the energy transition: Recommendations of the GJETC for Germany and Japan

Berlin/Tokyo, 16 February 2018. After two years of extensive research and internal and public discussion, the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) this week in Berlin discussed joint recommendations to politics, industry and civil society in the two high-tech countries. This resulted in the first draft of a final report. The final version of the report, which will include all the results of the joint Council’s work, will be published in March 2018. However, four key recommendations for a successful energy transition are already visible:


Intensive discussion on the Council’s results (from l. to r.): Dagmar Dehmer (Journalist/Moderation), Prof. Masakazu Toyoda (GJETC Co-Chair), Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke (GJETC Co-Chair), Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs (TU Munich), Prof. Koji Nomura (Keio Economic Observatory), Dr. Karsten Sach (BMUB)

  • Germany and Japan will have to restructure their energy systems over the next 30 years. Through the continuous exchange of knowledge and experience, the transformation process can be accelerated and made more effective.
  • The objectives of climate protection, security of supply, competitiveness and social acceptance can be achieved at the same time. To this end, long-term targets and strategies for a low-carbon energy system must be defined and ambitiously implemented by 2050. Bilateral cooperation in the creation of scenarios and cost/benefit analyses improve the basis for decision-making.
  • Germany and Japan are the leaders in energy efficiency. Nevertheless, both countries still have great, undeveloped potential. The implementation gap to the ambitious energy saving targets is large and must be closed quickly in order to exploit the enormous advantages of energy saving. To achieve this, the principle of “Efficiency First” must be implemented in an extended and effective energy-saving governance system.
  • The liberalisation of the electricity (and gas) sector is to be pursued ambitiously in order to achieve fair market conditions for a large number of diversified suppliers and innovative technologies. New business and consumer concepts such as prosumer, municipal utilities and energy cooperations must be promoted.

“Despite the different circumstances and starting positions, Japan and Germany can learn a lot from each other in the energy transition. This has been clearly demonstrated by the Council’s work over the last two years and is reflected in our recommendations”, said Masakazu Toyoda, GJETC’s Japanese Co-Chairman, in the course of the 4th Council Meeting at the Japanese-German Centre in Berlin. The results and recommendations come from four comprehensive studies on the energy transition in Germany and Japan commissioned by the Council at the end of 2016.

The possibilities for a successful energy transition are available. But the objectives and strategies, for example with regard to energy efficiency and the expansion of renewable energies, are not always consistent. This was also discussed repeatedly during the four council meetings. “Joint solutions for the energy transition can only be found if the different interests and political objectives of both partners are clearly articulated and respected. The work of the GJETC has contributed to strengthening the trusting, scientific dialogue between Germany and Japan”, said Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, German Co-Chairman of the GJETC.

On the occasion of the 4th Council Meeting, the GJETC hosted an Outreach event at the House of Federal Press Conference in Berlin on 16 February 2018. About 100 participants, among them energy experts, ministerial representatives, parliamentarians and NGOs, informed themselves about the current status of the Council’s work and discussed the first results and recommendations with the members of the GJETC. Another public event is already planned for 20th April 2018 in Berlin.

Final Reports of GJETC Study Program Available

The results of the 4 study reports, which build the core foundation for the GJETC’s recommendations, are now finalized.  The comprehensive study program deals with 4 topics, which the Council’s experts identified to be crucial for the energy transition in both countries.

Those 4 studies had been awarded to selected consortia of renowned German and Japanese research institutes in December 2016. After intensive discussions, stakeholder dialogues and in-depth research work and a thorough reviewing process, the 4 main studies can now be downloaded below. They will be a basis for the GJETC’s policy recommendations, providing the first comprehensive comparative analysis between Japan and Germany on these issues.

The official press release is available here:

>> English

>> German

Study Topic 1: “Energy transition as a central building block of a future industrial policy – Comparison and analysis of long term energy transition scenarios

Title ST1
Key Findings

1. Both Japan and Germany have national energy transition targets and strategies. Additionally, the study compared long-term energy scenarios and the reasons behind differences.

2. A key difference is the expectations on future system costs of wind and photovoltaic (PV) energy. Germany expects high shares in energy supply due to low costs; Japan up to now expects higher costs and lower shares.

3. Japan’s island nature puts energy security as a top priority on the agenda and  perceives challenges from very high shares of fluctuating wind and PV generation.

Study Topic 2: “Strategic framework and socio-cultural aspects of the energy transition”

Title ST2

Key Findings

1. In both countries, energy policy is based on the principles of economic efficiency, energy security and environmental sustainability.

2. People in both countries have a favourable view of energy transition.

3. The study recommends a bilateral policy research dialogue between the two countries, complemented by a multi-stakeholder discussion with businesses as well as civil society and the research community.

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
Key Findings

1. While Germany has longer and deeper experience in the liberalisation of electricity markets, both countries face similar challenges for electricity market design of the near future.
2. These concern, i.a., the flexibility options and costs for system integration of fluctuating wind and PV generation, but also coupling the power, heat, and transport sectors. Views on the future role of conventional power generation, particularly coal and nuclear, diverge.
3. New business and consumer concepts, such as prosumers, municipal utilities, and energy cooperatives, provide opportunities.

Study Topic 4: “Energy end-use efficiency potentials and policies and the development of energy service markets”

Title ST4
Key Findings

1. Both countries are already world-leading in energy productivity, also due to their existing policies.
2. Both countries have ambitious energy efficiency targets for the future based on still existing large potentials. Both have to strengthen their packages of energy efficiency policies to overcome barriers, including demand response.
3. While Germany could learn from Japan on energy efficiency in the transport sector, Japan could learn from Germany on energy-efficient buildings.