Pathways into the energy future. The transformation of energy systems in an international perspective
Since late 2016, acatech and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) have been organizing missions involving leading figures from academia, industry and the media to analyze international trends in energy research and to explore opportunities for cooperation. This brochure brings together the key findings from the missions. The following five options for action have been identified:
1. The German energy transition requires central coordination in order to focus existing expertise and link up research. This would make it possible to identify innovative fields of research at an early stage and develop research topics strategically.
2. In the light of the emission reductions which are still to be made to meet climate targets, it is crucial to maintain the breadth of energy research while at the same time promoting outcome and technology neutrality. International markets show, however, that sector coupling and power-to-X technologies, CCUS technologies and electrochemical storage will be of particular importance.
3. Global developments in energy research should be kept under review in continuous energy transition benchmarking of the G20 countries. This would enable ongoing identification of best practice examples and opportunities for cooperation.
4. International technology alliances and partnerships must be fostered, since the energy transition will only succeed in cooperation with international players. In particular, one option could be a strategic partnership with Australia on green hydrogen.
5. Sustainability is often a subordinate factor in energy and climate policy in the countries studied. Germany’s energy transition, however, continues to enjoy a good reputation outside Europe. Germany must lead by example and demonstrate that sustainability and economic efficiency are compatible.