7. German-Japanese Economic Forum, 2013


Energy Supply at a Turning Point: Chances and Challenges for the Industry

After the disaster of Fukushima, Japan and Germany have come to a decisive turning point where the pillars of the future structure of energy supply are set. The industry as well as politics are facing great challenges. But the “Energiewende” also bears new business fields and chances for cooperation e.g. in the field of grid connection of offshore wind parks or energy storage. German and Japanese Experts from politics and industry will discuss these topics on the 7th German-Japanese Economic Forum at HANNOVER MESSE.

145 participants attended the 7th German-Japanese Economic Forum on 10 April 2013 on the topic "Energy Supply at a Turning Point: Chances and Challenges for the Industry". State Secretary Stefan Kapferer of the German Economic Ministry began by explaining the opportunities that the German energy transition holds in store for companies, including those from Japan. Hideo Hato, President of the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation, called for close cooperation. He sees opportunities for the industries of both countries in areas such as energy saving, renewable energies (especially photovoltaics and wind power), electromobility and smart communities. The Japanese government will continue to invest heavily in these areas.

A positive example of German-Japanese cooperation is Mitsubishi: together with the grid operator TenneT, the company is involved in four offshore wind farm projects in the North Sea. In the long term, Mitsubishi wants to contribute to the expansion of the pan-European grid infrastructure and thus to the success of the energy turnaround in Europe.

According to the vision of the wind turbine manufacturer VESTAS, wind power should account for 10% of electricity generation worldwide - today it is only 2%. It became clear that wind power is not the cost driver in the EEG levy. An analysis of various business models carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers in Germany showed that investments in wind turbines are at least as worthwhile in the onshore sector as in PV systems, at least at relatively low risk.

In the concluding discussion it was agreed that consumers and industry alike need reliable guidance when making investment decisions. The current need for a change of direction in the energy supply of the two highly developed nations Japan and Germany represents a great opportunity to intensify cooperation in research and industry, for example in the areas of grid connection, energy management or business models (keyword: citizen participation).

The 7th German-Japanese Economic Forum was organized by Deutsche Messe AG and ECOS Consult with the kind support of PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Mitsubishi International GmbH, EU Gateway to Japan and JETRO Düsseldorf.

Johanna Schilling,
Tel. +49 (0)541 911 909 90,