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 honored as role model for bilateral scientific cooperation

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) has been promoting scientific exchange between Japan and Germany since the 1930s. The German Society of JSPS Fellows awarded the JACA Prize to Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, Senior Advisor at the Wuppertal Institute, at the German-Japanese symposium “Art, architecture and technology” in Vienna on May 24. The JSPS Alumni Club Award 2019 (“JACA Prize” for short) was given to Peter Hennicke for “his outstanding contribution to the realisation of scientific exchange between German-speaking countries and Japan”. The award also appreciates Peter Hennicke’s role as German Co-Chair of the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) and the GJETC’s three years of cooperation. The laudatio reads: “The JACA of 2019 honours Professor Hennicke representing the founding consortium of the worldwide unique GJETC”.


Photo: JSPS-Chairman Prof. Heinrich Menkhaus (left) presenting the JACA Prize to GJETC Co-Chair Prof. Peter Hennicke. (© Valentin Jäger-Waldau)

In his acceptance speech, Hennicke also addressed the role of the cooperation model: “The award is a great honour and an enormous encouragement for me and for the entire team of the German Japanese Energy Transition Council. The aim of our cooperation with Japan is to demonstrate that the energy transition can succeed better, despite considerably different starting positions in Germany and Japan, if both countries learn from their strengths, but also try to make their weaknesses transparent in order to avoid them.”


Laudatory Speech

Acceptance Speech by GJETC Co-Chair Peter Hennicke

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.