Energy Systems of the Future

Initiative of the German Academies of Sciences

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This is what the future could look like in 2050: Electricity is mainly generated from wind and solar power. Cars are fuelled with electricity or hydrogen. Buildings are so well insulated that they no longer require heating.

How do we get there? What remains to be explored? And how is the transition towards a more sustainable energy supply to be financed? The Academies’ Project “Energy Systems of the Future” provides answers to these questions.

Current issues


Making the energy transition happen: academies of sciences call for energy policy reboot

The next four years will be key to Germany’s climate ambitions. During the term of the new parliament, Germany can either choose to drive climate action both nationally and internationally, or it can pass up this chance and stand idly by while the windows of opportunity close one by one. But it is not yet too late to act. In the discussion paper “If not now, then when – making the energy transition happen” the academies of sciences set out a strong, concise case for eleven priority action areas that can help to deliver the energy transition.


Centralized or decentralized? Scientific academies show ways forward to a sustainable energy supply

A mix of centralized and decentralized technologies is the only way to ensure a climate-friendly, secure and economic energy supply. The position paper suggests astute ways of combining centralized and decentralized components to create a stable and sustainable energy system.


What is the Significance of Nuclear Energy to the Future of Global Power Generation?

While Germany is committed to shutting down all its nuclear power plants by 2022, other countries such as China, Russia and Japan are increasing the share of nuclear power in their energy mix. What role will nuclear power play in the future of both global electricity generation and climate protection?

„The energy transition is crucial in achieving the Paris Agreement’s central goal to keep the global average temperature below 2° C. The Academies’ Project ESYS can make a major contribution to accomplish this turn.“

Gerald Haug
President of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

„The energy transition can only succeed if the whole of society is involved in this complex transformation process. This requires continuous accompaniment and participation by the social sciences and humanities.“

Edwin J. Kreuzer
President of the Union of German Academies