Which topics does ESYS deal with? Who are the results addressed to? How is the project funded? Below, you will find answers to these and other questions about the initiative “Energy Systems of the Future”.

What topics are taken up in the project?

The project presents alternative solutions (courses of action) for the implementation of the energy transition from a scientific perspective. The questions relate from medium to long-term challenges. Important reference data are the final phasing-out of nuclear power in 2022 as well as the energy and climate targets for 2030 and 2050. Topics are proposed by the project members. A Working Group is established by decision of the Board of Directors.

Who are the project results addressed to?

The project results are intended to make scientific knowledge accessible and usable for the political discussion on energy policy issues. The target group are players from politics, academia, the industry, civil society organisations as well as the interested public. While analyses primarily address a more specialised public (the responsible departments in ministries, research institutes, etc.), position papers should likewise be understandable for non-professional readers.

What is the difference between position papers and analyses?

The main findings of a Working Group are summarised in a position paper. After an external review, position papers are adopted by the projects’ Board of Trustees and published in the series of papers Schriftenreihe zur wissenschaftlichen Politikberatung (Monograph series on Science-based Policy Advice). Detailed findings, data evaluations and method descriptions, on the other hand, are published as analyses or materials in the project’s own series “Energy Systems of the Future”. Here, unlike in the case of the position papers, the content is the sole responsibility of the authors.

How is the quality of the position papers ensured?

Each Academy of Science has established its own procedures to ensure the professional quality of their results. In the project ESYS, a “rapporteur” from the Board of Directors closely follows the elaboration of the texts in the Working Groups and gives regular reports on the current status. Once the Board of Directors has approved, the position papers are reviewed by at least three independent experts. Their comments are taken into account during the revision and editing process. The handling of the comments and remarks is documented in a report and submitted to the Board of Trustees, which adopts the position papers in the name of all three Academies.

How is ESYS funded?

The Academies’ project “Energy Systems of the Future” (ESYS) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Do the project members receive payment for their work?

No. The members are involved in the project ESYS in an honorary capacity. If representatives of non-university research institutions assume an active part in Working Group meetings or other project events, their travel expenses are reimbursed. Their work is supported by the Project Office. If necessary, further research consultants are involved in a Working Group’s research and editing processes.