10th German-Japanese Environmental and Energy Dialogue Forum: Decarbonising Energy Systems

Japan wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Germany aims for greenhouse gas neutrality in the same period. How can these countries achieve their ambitious goals? Both are highly industrialized. This is why the energy sector, in particular, has to reduce its emissions. On 29 and 30 October 2019, around 250 Japanese and German experts from politics, business and research discussed climate and energy policy as well as the current state of research in innovative solutions at the 10th German-Japanese Environmental and Energy Dialogue Forum in Tokyo. The conference was jointly hosted by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as well as the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The two-day conference was organized by NEDO, ECOS and adelphi.

Climate protection needs innovative politics
The discussions covered a broad spectrum of topics: The exchange on energy and climate change strategies and their impact on politics, economics and society also focussed on how renewable energies can be integrated into existing systems. Participants also addressed obstacles to the environmental impact assessment and the social acceptance of renewable energies. On the second day of the conference, the heat sector took centre stage: Experts presented numerous innovative technologies that reduce emissions in the generation, storage and use of heat. This led to stimulating conversations among the participants.

Decarbonisation with hydrogen technologies
One special focus was the potential of green hydrogen. It makes it easier to store energy and link different sectors like electricity, heat and transport without any additional CO2 emissions. Japan and Germany are equally interested in the question of which third-party countries will function as trading partners for CO2-free hydrogen in the future. One part of the study analyses potential hydrogen exporting countries, with the respective production potential and costs being decisive in the evaluation.

Potential for more intensive energy cooperation
The subsequent discussion revealed extensive potential for increased cooperation between Japan and Germany: from business in the power-to-gas sector, to joint research on hydrogen-based modes of transport, to the development of hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen will also occupy a key position far beyond Japan and Germany in the energy transition. As a result, increased energy cooperation between the two partner countries and in international competition appears promising.

(This text is originally from https://www.adelphi.de/en/news/10th-german-japanese-environment-energy-dialogue-forum-decarbonising-energy-systems)