Position papers and analyses

ESYS publishes all project results. Position papers contain policy options for the transformation of the energy system, complementary analyses provide background information. All publications are published in German.

In addition, selected publications are translated into English. An overview of all publications by the Academies’ Project can be found here. On the following page, the English publications are available for download.

Recent Publication

In a Nutshell! | November 2020

Why are Germany’s CO2 Emissions only falling slowly despite the major expansion in renewable energy sources? „In a Nutshell!“

In 2018, CO2 emissions in Germany have fallen noticeably to 866 million tons for the first time since 2014. This is shown by calculations of the German Environment Agency. These figures are not enough to achieve the climate protection targets. Why don't emissions decrease more significantly, even though wind power and solar plants are being steadily expanded?

Ad hoc statement | June 2020

Energy transition 2030: Europe’s path to carbon neutrality

The present ad hoc statement by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering, and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities aims to provide the German government, in light of its upcoming presidency of the EU Council, with a compact series of recommendations for giving the desired European energy transition the momentum it requires, not least amidst the challenge posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Further Publications

Position Paper | April 2020

Centralized and decentralized components in the energy system. The right mix for ensuring a stable and sustainable 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.

In a Nutshell! | January 2020

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?

Discussion Paper | September 2019

Focusing expertise, shaping policy – energy transition now!

Based on their studies into the feasibility of the energy transition by 2050, the German Academies of Sciences' joint "Energy Systems of the Future" (ESYS) initiative, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Energy Agency (dena) have published a discussion paper with recommendations how Germany's energy transition can succeed. ESYS, BDI and dena have jointly concluded that, although feasible, an energy transition can only be achieved if policymakers take immediate decisive action. A "business as usual" approach will result in Germany comprehensively failing to meet its climate targets.

Position Paper | May 2019

Biomass: striking a balance between energy and climate policies. Strategies for sustainable bioenergy use

Bioenergy is the most versatile of the renewable energy sources. A coherent bioenergy policy must ensure that bioenergy use has no negative social and environmental impacts, and makes the greatest possible contribution to climate protection. The Position Paper shows how to make best use of bioenergy in the energy system.

Position Paper | April 2019

Governance for the European Energy Union

The Position Paper shows how leadership alliances, the EU Commission and EU legislators must make effective use of the scope of the Governance Regulation and points out options for accompanying measures.

Position Paper | August 2018

Coupling the different energy sectors − options for the next phase of the energy transition

How can we drive fossil fuels out of the energy system and achieve our climate targets? Based on expert discussions, a comparison of relevant energy scenarios and their own model calculations, the Academies’ Project ESYS has developed a list of courses of action for Germany. The Position Paper has summarised the most important results.

Position Paper | March 2018

Raw materials for the energy transition. Securing a reliable and sustainable supply

The supply of metals and energy products depends on various factors, i.e. how raw material prices develop, or how transparent and accessible the markets are. The position paper describes how Germany can become more independent of raw material imports and what measures can help to secure the supply in the long term.

Position Paper | March 2016

Consulting with energy scenarios. Requirements for scientific policy advise

Energy scenarios can considerably influence political decisions. It is therefore of major importance that the results are both comprehensible and verifiable. However, as calculation models are part of the implementing institutions’ operating capital, they are frequently not disclosed. Also, it is not always clear whether the results are influenced by any provisions by the commissioning institutions. The position paper by the Academies’ Project “Energy Systems of the Future” (ESYS) offers suggestions how transparency can be increased.

Position Paper | February 2016

Flexibility concepts for the German power supply in 2050. Ensuring stability in the age of renewable energies

So-called flexibility technologies are necessary to balance the fluctuations naturally inherent to power generation from wind and photovoltaics. A working group of the Academies’ Project “Energy Systems of the Future” (ESYS) has developed a special model enabling the comparison of 130 different constellations. The position paper summarises the main findings and presents design options for energy policies.

Position Paper | July 2015

Incorporating the German Energiewende into a comprehensive European approach

In order to mitigate global warming, as many countries as possible must strive to make their energy supply systems more sustainable. It is up to the EU to establish an integrated energy and climate policy as an internationally compatible system. Therefore, this position paper advocates the closer integration of the German energy transition into the European energy and climate policy scheme.