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


The Impacts of the War in Ukraine on Energy Prices and Security of Supply in Europe

Europe can end its reliance on Russian energy imports within the next few years, according to a discussion paper of the Academies’ Project ESYS. There are three key requirements for this to happen: additional expansion of the gas transmission infrastructure, a reduction in demand for natural gas, and close, finely-tuned cooperation at European level.


In a Nutshell! What are negative emissions and why do we need them?

Unavoidable CO2 emissions must be removed from the atmosphere and stored in order to achieve “negative emissions” in this way. What exactly negative emissions are, how they can be generated by nature-based and technological processes, and the advantages and disadvantages of different methods are explained in the new edition of our “In a Nutshell!” format.


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.

„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 crises of the last two years have made it even clearer that the energy transition cannot wait. Academies bundle knowledge for society and thus also knowledge for the energy transition.“

Christoph Markschies
President of the Union of German Academies