Since Germany and Japan agreed to intensify their bilateral energy policy exchange and cooperation in June 2019, the Energy Partnership has gained strong momentum with lively discussions on renewables, energy efficiency, digitisation and hydrogen taking place in the Working Groups as well as during expert exchanges and conferences. 

09 November 2023

5th Meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group

On 9 November 2023, the Working Group 1 "Energy Transition" of the Japanese-German Energy Partnership came together for its 5th meeting. The working group meetings serve to exchange information on current energy policy and energy industry developments in both countries, to reflect on past activities and key topics of the working group and to discuss and define future activities and priorities.

Anton Hufnagl (Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action) and Hideyuki Umeda (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) opened the joint meeting as new co-chairs of the working group. The subsequent policy updates addressed topics including the new Building Energy Act, municipal heat planning, carbon pricing and energy efficiency issues in Germany as well as innovation, grid reinforcement plans and developments in renewable energies in Japan among other things.

Following an overview of the working group's previous events and topics, both sides agreed to continue the fruitful dialogue on issues relating to offshore wind energy and extend discussions to PV in the future, for example with regard to the potential of new technologies such as perovskite solar cells (PSC) and challenges related to sustainable and secure supply chains for critical materials.

27 September 2023

4th Meeting of the Hydrogen Working Group

On September 27, the 4th meeting of Working Group 2 on Hydrogen of the Japanese-German Energy Partnership took place. The WG2 co-chairs Dr. Christine Falken-Großer (Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action (BMWK)) and Tomohiko Adachi (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)) together with further ministry representatives and guest experts exchanged insights and viewpoints on current developments in hydrogen policy, reflected on previous cooperation and activities, and discussed future joint projects and focus topics. The WG co-chairs provided insights on the updated national hydrogen strategies, underlining the increased ambition of both countries to promote the hydrogen market ramp-up and become technology leaders.

JPN hydrogen targets:
▶️ Japan is aiming for a hydrogen supply of 3 Mt by 2030, 12 Mt by 2040 and 20 Mt by 2050, and an electrolysis target of 15 GW by 2030 with Japanese companies involved.
▶️ The current demand of 2 Mt (mainly in refineries and the chemical industry) is to be replaced by low-carbon hydrogen in the short term.
▶️ The industry is to set voluntary targets for the switch to (clean) hydrogen, and in the long term there will be mandatory quotas.

GER hydrogen targets:
▶️ The target for domestic electrolysis capacity has been increased from 5 GW by 2030 to 10 GW by 2030.
▶️ The annual demand for hydrogen in Germany is expected to be 95 to 130 TWh by 2030 (currently: 55 TWh).
▶️ A separate import strategy is to be published this year, as a large part of the hydrogen supply (50-70%) is to be covered by imports.

While Japan almost exclusively will import hydrogen in the future via ships, Germany is also looking at additional supply channels via pipelines from neighboring countries and from domestic production of H2.

Moreover, the WG talked about the topic of hydrogen financing. It was discussed how targeted policy measures and instruments can stimulate and incentivize private and public funds for the necessary investments in the hydrogen economy. Toyoda Kohei from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Rei Motoyama and Geoff Crum from Deutsche Bank and Elisabeth Sterner from H2Global Foundation provided the basis for an interesting and lively discussion with insightful short presentations.

The co-chairs of the WG decided on a regular exchange on the development and design of financing instruments for the hydrogen market ramp-up in both countries. Furthermore, among other topics, the WG will focus on hydrogen infrastructure, hydrogen safety and synthetic natural gas (SNG).

27 February 2023

3rd Meeting of the Hydrogen Working Group

The Japanese-German research trip on green hydrogen, including several site-visits, started on February 27 with the 3rd meeting of the hydrogen working group of the Japanese-German Energy Partnership at BMWK in Berlin. Dr. Christine Falken-Großer (BMWK) welcomed the Japanese delegation with her counterpart Tomahiko Adachi (METI) to discuss recent developments in hydrogen policy and past and future activities of the working group. The morning session was dedicated to recent developments on hydrogen policies in both countries, an update on H2Global, green hydrogen certification and regulatory framework conditions for hydrogen usage. The focus of the afternoon session was on different use-cases and no-regret applications for hydrogen in different sectors, such as green steel and hydrogen mobility. Future discussions of the working group will include different financing mechanisms, hydrogen transport and infrastructure as well as a deep dive into the decarbonization of the steel and chemical industry. On February 28, the research trip continued with several exciting site-visits to exchange on and gain practical insights into German hydrogen technologies and projects. The day started with a visit and tour of the HydrogenLab at Fraunhofer-Institut für Windenergiesysteme (IWES) in Leuna, which serves as a research unit for electrolysis tests and also included a specific in-depth explanation on the on-site Sunfire GmbH high-temperature elctrolyser. The second visit to the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical Biotechnological Processes (CBP), focused on the combination of biotechnological processes with chemical processes, for example, Power-to-X. The informative day ended with a visit to Graforce GmbH which offers promising power-to-X modular plants for the generation of CO2-free or CO2-negative hydrogen and synthetic raw materials. March 1st concluded the research trip with meetings of two innovative players of the German hydrogen industry landscape. In the morning, the delegation received an in-depth presentation on the different H2-solutions of the APEX Group for Ptx, H2-mobility and H2-storage and transport solutions, followed by an insightful tour of the company’s own hydrogen power plant located in Rostock-Laage and their H2-refuelling station. In the afternoon, representatives of EXYTRON Vertrieb GmbH, located in Rostock, provided insights on their patented power-to-X-energy systems and explained how a hydrogen-based, emission-free and self-sufficient energy supply can be realized for residential quarters, commercial and industrial facilities and even entire city districts.

27 September 2022

2nd Cooperation Committee Meeting

On the 27th of September the 2nd Cooperation Committee Meeting (CCM) of the Japanese-German Energy Partnership took place as a hybrid meeting in Tokyo and online as a video conference with representatives from both ministries. The meeting serves to discuss the results of the cooperation so far and to set the goals and priorities for the future activities within the energy partnership. Current topics in energy policy were discussed and representatives from both countries provided insights into recent developments. The two working groups (WG1 Energy Transition, WG2 Hydrogen) presented their focus topics discussed so far, the formats that have already been implemented, and which next steps are planned. The working groups have dealt so far with diverse issues such as energy efficiency, offshore wind energy, the liberalization of the electricity market, digitalization and energy management, support schemes for hydrogen production and international hydrogen projects, integrated supply chains and the role of hydrogen hubs. As part of the delegation trip, a German and Japanese delegation also took part in the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting, which took place the day before the CCM, on September 26, with the participation of high-ranking politicians from various countries to deepen the discussions on the multinational cooperation and promotion of hydrogen.

10 May 2022

4th Meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group

With a special focus on offshore wind and energy efficiency, the 4th meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group took place on May 10th with the participation of METI and BMWK as well as experts from the two priority areas. The ministries took the opportunity to learn about current energy policy developments in their respective partner countries, from which new ideas for future exchange formats could be generated. In the subsequent discussion round, the challenges, but also the importance of expanding renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency in view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine were discussed.

05 April 2022

2nd Meeting of the Hydrogen Working Group

On 5th of April, during the 2nd meeting of the Hydrogen Working Group, a fruitful exchange took place between representatives of the partner ministries METI and BMWK as well as hydrogen experts on national hydrogen hubs and the complementary development of international supply chains. The presentation of the hydrogen hubs in the prefectures of Fukushima and Yamanashi as well as in Hamburg and Essen illustrated how the task of simultaneous development of supply and demand is implemented in Japan and Germany. The discussion made clear that while ample political support is ensured overall, it should have a stronger focus on stimulating demand, e.g. in the form of bridging the price gap between hydrogen and conventional solutions. The exchange highlighted that both countries face similar challenges and opportunities when it comes to building regional and international hydrogen supply chains.

28 June 2021

1st Cooperation Committee Meeting

On June 28, 2021, the annual high-level cooperation committee meeting took place, which determined the focus of this year's work within the energy partnership. Within the framework of WG1 (energy transition), the exchange will focus on the three topics of offshore wind, energy management and digitalization, and energy efficiency in industry. Within the framework of WG1, a follow-up to the expert workshop in June on possible hydrogen cooperation projects between companies in both countries is planned. Other thematic focal points include hydrogen applications for decarbonizing industry and the transport sector, as well as possible projects in third countries.

25 February 2021

3rd Meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group

On February 25, 2021, the 3rd meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group (WG1) took place. The meeting provided a platform for an active discussion on the study “Energy Efficiency in Industry: Japan and Germany”. A further exchange on the effectiveness of energy efficiency measures was agreed upon by the participants. In addition, voluntary approaches related to energy efficiency, offshore wind cost reductions and joint offshore R&D projects were identified as further future fields of cooperation and exchange.

22 January 2021

1st Meeting of the Hydrogen Working Group

A successful virtual kick-off meeting of the Hydrogen Working Group was held on January 22, 2021, with appropriate momentum thanks to Japan's recently announced CO2 neutrality plans and recently agreed Green Growth Strategy, as well as Germany's hydrogen strategy published in 2020. The agenda was structured by three main topics. Against the backdrop of Japan's recently readjusted climate strategy, METI first gave an overview of the country's current hydrogen policy and presented its national as well as international projects along the hydrogen supply chain. The two partner countries then exchanged views on the respective regulatory frameworks and applied support mechanisms. The final topic of discussion was the expansion of international hydrogen supply chains, with both sides agreeing that the establishment of a global certification system for green and blue hydrogen is an important prerequisite for international hydrogen trade and will therefore remain a focus of the WG in the future. 

The Hydrogen Working Group met virtually and discussed regulatory frameworks and support mechanisms as well as international hydrogen supply chains. ©adelphi
18 September 2020

2nd Meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group

In September 2020, the second meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group took place virtually. The meeting mainly concentrated on the two topics electricity market liberalisation as well as digitisation and energy management. Afterwards the work of the German-Japanese Energy Transition Council was presented to identify possible synergies with the Working Group.

During the second meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group, the discussions focused on electricity market liberalisation as well as digitisation and energy management. ©adelphi
21 August 2020

1st Meeting of the Energy Transition Working Group

In August 2020, the Energy Transition Working Group took up its work - due to the ongoing global pandemic in a virtual format. During the first meeting, a lively exchange took place on energy efficiency, offshore wind and feed-in tariffs. It was also possible to agree on offshore wind and energy efficiency in the industry as future topics for a more in-depth exchange, and the elaboration of a short study on the cost development of offshore wind was decided.

18 February 2020

Endorsement of the Roadmap for the Energy Partnership

On 18.02.2020, Thorsten Herdan, Director General for Energy at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), and Tomohiro Kaneko, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) endorsed the roadmap which determines the structure of the Japanese-German Energy Partnership.

The partners agreed to establish the “Japanese-German Energy Transition Cooperation Committee” that heads the Energy Partnership’s institutional structure. It will come together at least once per year to discuss energy related issues, consult on the means of cooperation, evaluate and improve the results of cooperation and determine the respective priorities for the next year.

The Roadmap further determines the establishment of two Working Groups that will carry out the substantive work. One focuses on the energy transition pillars renewable energy and energy efficiency. The second Working Group is dedicated to hydrogen and covers all aspects of the production, distribution and use of this technology.
The Working Groups strive to enable a dialogue, sharing best practices and identifying concrete proposals for cooperation such as joint studies, study and/or field trips or even the initiation of joint demonstration projects.

Tomohiro Kaneko, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (METI) and Thorsten Herdan, Director General Energy Policy (BMWi) after signing the Roadmap.
Tomohiro Kaneko, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (METI) and Thorsten Herdan, Director General Energy Policy (BMWi) after signing the Roadmap. © BMWi
15 June 2019

Signing of the Declaration of Cooperation

Both countries have agreed to increase cooperation on the energy transition in the framework of the Japanese-German Energy Partnership. The aim is to intensify efforts with respect to renewable energy deployment and system integration, energy efficiency and conservation, sector coupling, increased flexibility, smart grids and energy storage systems (ESS), Power to X and hydrogen. Andreas Feicht, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), and Taizo Takahashi, Commissioner of the Japanese Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, signed a corresponding declaration on the margins of the G20 meeting of energy ministers on 15 June 2019.
Against the background that the two countries have stressed the central role of sustainable energy in light of the Paris Agreement, the Energy Partnership benefits both parties. Germany has extensive experience in the expansion and system integration of renewables, whereas Japan is very advanced in the use of hydrogen as well as in the development of energy storage systems and smart grids.

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