Energiewende and Energy Union: Euro-CASE and the German academies discuss ways to an integrated and sustainable European energy policy

Brussels, 3 July 2015


How to best integrate the German energy transition into the European Energy Union to produce effective incentives for climate protection? This question was the focus of the event "Energiewende meets Energy Union: Towards integration and sustainability" organised by the German Academy project Energy Systems of the Future (ESYS) and the European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering (Euro-CASE) on 2 July 2015 at the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union in Brussels. Representatives of the academies introduced science-based options for a European energy policy.


How the German energy transition can be implemented in a safe, affordable and sustainable way is the central question of the Inter-Academy Project "Energy Systems of the Future" (ESYS).  "The cooperation of the academies in Germany in the ESYS project is an outstanding example of the development of interdisciplinary policy options for a complex field like the Energiewende", said Euro-CASE President and Chairman of the Board of ESYS Reinhard F. Hüttl. Now the aim must be to enhance the cooperation between the Academy associations at the European level.

The academies attracted great interest of the EU Commission: António Vicente, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Carlos Moedas, presented the new mechanism for the science-based advice to the Commission (SAM); the relevance of the academies is expressed by granting them a separate and independent pillar in the consultation process. The goal is to strengthen the evidence-base of political decisions with support by the academies.


How scientific policy advice in the area of energy policy can look like was shown in the presentation of Christoph M. Schmidt, President of the Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research, Chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts and Head of ESYS Working Group "Economy". He presented the ESYS policy paper "Incorporating the German Energiewende into a comprehensive European approach" and showed which design options are available for a common energy and climate policy in Europe. He claimed that "we need to interlink the German energy transition policy more closely with the European energy and climate policy. This includes further discussions on the European emissions trading system and a design for a strengthened Internal Electricity Market.”

In the final panel discussion Jiří Buriánek, Secretary General of the Committee of Regions of the European Union, Peter Lund, Chair of the Energy Programme at Euro-CASE’s sister organization EASAC, Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Head of Energy Policy in the Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission, and Eloy Álvarez Pelegry, Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness and member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering, discussed the presentations and stressed in particular the signaling effect of the Energy Union. There was also consensus among the participants that the concept of the Energy Union needs further elaboration. In that regard the Commission announced that proposals will be published before the summer break that will also include reform proposals for the EU-ETS. Another important topic in the panel discussion was innovation. The claim that innovative energy technology must be deployed a lot faster than in the past in order to reach the ambitious climate goals was supported by all sides. For developing new business models an integrated energy market is required, however.

Impressions of the "Energiewende meets Energy Union" event

About ESYS
The German Science Academies’ Project “Energy Systems of the Future” (ESYS) shows possible approaches for achieving the “Energiewende” in a secure, affordable and sustainable manner. More than 100 scientists from numerous disciplines develop scientific analyses and policy options to help objectify the debate regarding Germany’s new energy strategy. ESYS is a joint initiative by acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering (lead institution), the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.