The energy transition is more than the development of new infrastructures and technologies; it entails far-reaching changes in society and the economy.
The energy transition is more than the development of new infrastructures and technologies; it entails far-reaching changes in society and the economy. IASS/Norbert Michalke

Headline: Pathways to Sustainable Energy

Germany is an internationally recognised pioneer in the development of low-carbon energy systems. The promotion of renewable energies in Germany has been an important driver of the global energy transition. But Germany and the rest of the world are still only at the beginning of a far-reaching societal transformation.

The Pathways to a Sustainable Energy Supply research group focuses on two key challenges that will determine the future progress of the energy transition: social sustainability and global governance and cooperation. The researchers study the main societal trends and challenges that arise in the context of Germany's Energiewende in order to assess the social sustainability of the energy transition. They then develop proposals for a more socially just implementation process with greater opportunities for citizen participation. Their findings also contribute to the societal dialogue on the social sustainability of the energy transition.

Global governance and cooperation is another focus of this research group. The researchers investigate how the global energy transition is already affecting international politics and governance in the energy sector and identify options for advancing the transition. How are the interests of important countries like Germany, China, and the US evolving in the context of the global energy transition? What foreign and industrial policy strategies are these countries pursuing? What impact are these strategies having on policy frameworks and investment in partner countries - and thus on the course of the global energy transition? Research on these questions contributes to a transdisciplinary dialogue on the development of an international energy transition policy with partners from politics, the private sector, and civil society.

Projects

Pathways to Sustainable Energy

How can the heating sector in Germany be made more efficient and intelligent so that fewer fossil fuels are used? How can the energy transition be advanced in Germany and abroad? What measures are necessary to ensure the sustainability of the energy transition in its social dimension? This project addresses these three questions and investigates the prerequisites for a successful energy transition.

Socially Sustainable Energy Transition

Increasingly, discussions of the energy transition are revolving around questions of fairness, justice, and social responsibility, with a particular focus on financing, public acceptance of wind turbines and transmission lines, the coal phase-out, and working conditions in the wind and solar industry.

Global Energy Transition

Germany is in a position to give impetus to energy transitions in other countries.By analysing global trends and key energy policy initiatives on the international stage, this focus area supports this process.