Germany has ambitious plans to restructure its energy system. The goal is to generate 80 percent of its energy production from renewable sources by the year 2050 and at the same time lowering total energy consumption by 50 percent compared to 2008. These plans confront the scientific community with major challenges. The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is a driving force behind the development of sustainable and reliable energy supply.
Technological innovations can only be effective if they are kept transparent and accompanied by social innovation as well. Alongside the natural and engineering sciences, social sciences and the humanities also play a major role in further developing an energy system based on renewables. The standing committee “Climate, Energy and the Environment” joins a group of experts, who discuss how to best draw advice from current developments in energy research in order to provide council for politicians and society.
It is particularly important to conduct a wide variety of research projects in the energy sector. The events in Fukushima showed just how quickly the framework of energy supply can change. That is why the “Concept for an integrated Energy Research Program for Germany” emphasizes the necessity to provide all options for future energy supply. The Leopoldina further developed this research concept with its statement “Energy and Research Policy Recommendations following the Events in Fukushima”.
Technological innovations can only fulfill their potential if they are accepted by and established within society. This particularly applies to innovations in the energy sector. Establishing a successful dialogue between science, society and politics is an important priority when providing advice on behalf of the scientific community regarding the energy transition to renewables.
Künstliche Photosynthese (2018) (German)
Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society
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