The German Japanese Energy Transition Council

GJETC Outreach Event on Studies about Electricity Market Design and More Effective Energy Governance

In light of the commitments made during COP28 to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency by 2030, the GJETC organized an Outreach Event on May 27. The event presented the findings of two newly published reports that analyze the electricity markets in Japan and Germany and offer policy recommendations for more effective energy governance in both countries. Following the presentations, members of the study groups engaged in discussions with the attendees.

You can find further information on the Outreach Event as well as links to the presentations on our Outreach Website. You can find the complete studies on our Studies Website.

Council Meeting in Berlin, 14th-15th February 2024

On the 14th and 15th of February 2024, the GJETC members gathered at the Japanese Embassy in Berlin for the first „in person“ meeting of the current working phase. The goal of the council meeting was to discuss the ambitious goals of Germany and Japan to expand the use of renewables and to improve the protection of natural resources through more efficient technologies. Both countries are making significant efforts to preserve natural resources but must also keep an eye on the requirements of energy security, economic reliability and social sustainability. On the second day of the gathering, non-members had the chance to gain insights into the council’s work by meeting the co-chairs and the council members. You can find detailed information about the „Meet the Co-Chairs“ format titled „Tripling Renewables and Doubling Energy Efficiency: Germany and Japan as Forerunners for the Implementation of Ambitious Goals“ on our Outreach Website. 

Online Council Meeting of the GJETC, 28th November 2023

In the run-up to the 28th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 28) in Dubai, the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council held their the first council meeting of the current funding phase. Aside from fundamental debates about topics such as climate change, energy markets and an expansion of energy efficiency, the GJETC also focused on new study topics at the first council meeting in the current working phase. An optimized electricity market design with more incentives for investing in flexibility, accelerated implementation of energy saving measures through improved governance, or the analysis of initiatives such as the European Green Deal or Japan’s Green Transformation (GX) were discussed by the experts. 


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News from the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council

The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) has started the next working phase!

In a public Outreach Event on October 26, 2023, the study teams provided an insight into two studies that have already been completed and are dealing with strategies for decarbonizing the building stock and a comparison of the roadmaps to a climate-neutral (petro)chemical industry.

The decisive factor in achieving climate neutrality in the building sector is a rapid and cost-effective renovation of existing buildings. This was one of the conclusions of the building study and the stakeholder dialogue with the industry on the necessary political framework for a climate-neutral building sector which was held in March 2023. Against this background, the GJETC invites innovative companies from both countries to a virtual Innovation Roundtable on December 12, 2023 on the topic “Scan to BIM Technology and Prefabrication of Innovative Insulation in Retrofitting of Residential Buildings”.

The German and Japanese Council Members will discuss the study topics of the current work phase also virtually at their next Council Meeting at the end of November: How must the electricity market design in both countries be shaped in the future in order to make the energy transition successful? What can be learned from each other from the energy efficiency policies of both countries and which measures are needed to achieve the ambitious energy saving goals? And what parallels and differences are there between the EU’s “Green Industrial Plan” and the Japanese “Green Transformation”?

In the run-up to the COP 28 climate conference in Dubai there will also be another edition of “Zoom in! – Japanese-German Energy Transition Talks, the joint webinar format with the Japanese-German Energy Partnership.

In mid-February 2024, the Japanese Council Members will be welcomed to a Council Meeting in Berlin for the first time since the corona pandemic. Another Stakeholder Dialogue with Young Scientists and a Webinar are also planned for March 2024.


If you would like to learn more about one or the other news, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

GJETC publishes studies on decarbonization of the building sector and the chemical industry

The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) has completed two in-depth studies and one topical paper on current issues of the Energy Transition in both countries. We are pleased to inform you that the following studies are now available on the GJETC-Website (Studies – GJETC | Topical Papers – GJETC). 

The study “Roadmaps towards a climate neutral petrochemical production system“ compares scenario analyses and roadmaps in Germany and Japan, highlighting the need for defossilization, renewable electricity and hydrogen production in the petrochemical sector. An emphasis is put on the importance of policy support and global harmonization of climate policy for a successful industry transformation. While Germany and Japan share similarities in terms of their large petrochemical industries and dependence on imported energy, their specific contexts require tailored approaches. Collaboration between the two countries can facilitate technology and policy development, market introduction of new processes, and the establishment of global partnerships for non-fossil energy carriers and feedstocks.

In the second study “Strategies, concepts and measures for decarbonizing the building stock by 2045/50” it becomes clear that ambitious policy measures are essential to achieve climate neutrality goals in Japan and Germany, particularly in the building sector. Both countries focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through measures such as improved insulation, installation of PV systems, and transitioning from fossil fuel-based heating systems to renewable energy-powered heat pumps. However, challenges exist in promoting renovations due to limited information, financial resources, and regulations. Geographical characteristics and cultural factors pose unique challenges in each country, but both prioritize technological standards.

Within the topical paper Comparing the basic strategies of Japan and Germany against the energy crisis while aiming to achieve their climate mitigation goals, the climate protection strategies of Japan and Germany are compared. It examines how the energy crisis has impacted their climate goals, particularly in terms of supply security and price mitigation. Both countries aim to achieve carbon neutrality, but their approaches differ due to factors such as energy self-sufficiency and the role of nuclear power. Germany focuses on renewables and energy conservation, while Japan considers the use of fossil fuels, nuclear power, and imports of blue hydrogen or ammonia. Both countries face challenges in meeting their climate goals under changing geopolitical conditions and competition in the global green technology market.

We encourage you to take the time to review the studies and the topical paper thoroughly and share them in your network. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the studies further, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The German and Japanese Council Members met in Tokyo on March 2/3, 2023

Besides 2 days of discussion on current study topics such as decarbonization of the petrochemical industry, carbon-neutral buildings and waste heat utilization potentials, there were a row of side events such as a GJETC Stakeholder Dialogue with the Industry on Decarbonization of Buildings, a “Hydrogen Talk” organized by the German Embassy and an event on “Women in Leadership in the Energy Sector” of the German-Japanese Energy Partnership.

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Retrospect: Overview of GJETC Activities 2016-2023

Council Meeting held in Berlin / online on Nov 28 & 29, 2022

The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council held a 2 days Council Meeting at the Japanese Embassy in Berlin on November 28 and 29, 2022.
The Japanese Council Members joined online.

On the 1st day, concept and intended contents of GJETC studies currently prepared on decarbonising the building stock and the petrochemical industry as well as waste heat usage were discussed.

On day 2, the Council Members exchanged views on pathways to reach ‘’Net Zero’ in both countries. Furthermore, possible topics for Innovation Roundtables and the timeline of coming events (Outreach Event on December 9, Council Meeting in Tokyo in March 2023) were presented.

Key strategies towards decarbonized energy systems: GJETC presents three new studies with policy recommendations

Berlin/Tokyo, April 7, 2022. In its role as a provider of research on key issues of the energy transition, today the German Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) publishes three studies that have been conducted during the past nine months. The German and Japanese scientists have been working on research concerning a comparison of long-term scenario analyses up to 2045/2050, the decarbonization of the steel industry, and the role of batteries towards carbon neutrality. The findings from the studies form the basis for GJETC recommendations to policymakers. The studies are freely downloadable from the GJETC website.

Both countries have now adopted goals for achieving net carbon neutrality by 2045 (Germany) and 2050 (Japan). However, the economic recovery after the 2020 recession due to Covid-19 pandemic led to increases in greenhouse gas emissions in 2021. The key question is, how these rebound effects can be curbed and what are key pathways towards achieving these goals of decarbonized energy systems.
“In 2021, more CO2 is being produced than ever globally and also Germany wasn’t on track of its ambitious climate targets. At the same time, the Russian aggression against Ukraine has put the urgent reduction of fossil energy dependency high on the agenda. This calls for intensified efforts on international knowledge exchange to speed up the energy transition and to generate synergies of climate mitigation and less import dependency” says Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, the German co-chair of the GJETC, “From the results of our studies, we can derive recommendations for political decision-makers in Germany and Japan in this regard that can help achieve the climate targets and energy security alike.”
The Japanese co-chair of the GJETC, Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa, says: “There is still room for our two countries to reach their full potential as reflected in the results of our studies. Reducing the energy demand in all sectors and implementing stronger efficiency measures remains the first pillar of a successful energy transition. It is especially noted that the use of innovative technologies for decarbonizing fossil energy and alternative fuels in industry are important. In addition to the continued focus and expansion of renewable energies, pilot projects, such as for the use of battery systems for the sustainable storage of electricity, are necessary to drive energy transition efforts. At the same time, taking the current Ukraine situation into account, we will have to reemphasize the importance of energy security. In light of this, we need to diversify the energy types and sources as well as to ensure realistic transition of the energy mix consistent with the necessary timeframe.”

Study 1: The decarbonization of the steel industry

This study shows that governments and major companies in both Germany and Japan have adopted similar goals for the decarbonization of the steel industry, and how these may be achieved. Both countries focus on full decarbonization mainly through new direct reduction processes using hydrogen as fuel in primary steel making and the further expansion of secondary steel use through electric arc furnaces. Policy recommendations that can be derived include, among other things, fostering the use of clean hydrogen, the use of innovative technologies for steel production, the generation of CO2-neutral electricity and an acceptance of decarbonized steel on the market.

Study 2: Long-term scenarios for achieving climate neutrality by 2050

This study analyses scenarios of several studies that examine the achievement of climate neutrality in Germany and Japan. For both countries, the scenarios underscored the importance of energy efficiency and of a forced market introduction of renewable energies as key strategies. They go hand in hand with expanded electrification of the building and transport sector, the increased use of clean hydrogen and synthetic fuels, and technical carbon sinks to compensate residual (“hard to abate”) greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the GJETC discusses shortfalls that the respective technology focussed scenarios have with respect to, e.g., social acceptance or missing integration of circular economy strategies. Additionally, an adequate contribution of both countries to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees has to be developed. The GJETC thus opens the subject up for further specific research.

Study 3: The role of batteries towards carbon neutrality – How can distributed electricity storage contribute to balancing supply and demand in power markets as well as in power grids?

This study examines three different battery systems for electricity storage and their potential for stabilizing the power markets and grids: Grid-Integrated large storage systems (LSS), Home, Commercial, or Industrial Storages (HSS/ISS), and Battery-electric Vehicles (BEV). The GJETC sees HSS/ISS and BEV in particular as having great potential. To improve conditions for the use of battery systems as a flexibility resource, the GJETC advises a clear definition of storage as an own element of the electricity system; removing any double charging with levies, fees, or taxes of electricity during storage charging and feed-back to the grid; and the use of smart meters and smart pricing.

The GJETC’s third council phase ended last month. Another, fourth council phase is planned to continue the exchange between German and Japanese scientists intensively in the future. New formats are being discussed for the dialogue: An Innovation Lab will further encourage the exchange with the young researchers in particular, and an Innovation Hub will create a space for deeper communications with the industry in developing solutions.

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