The year 2011 brought great changes to both Japan and Germany in the field of energy policy. Following the Fukushima catastrophe, the Japanese government published a White Paper in October 2011 confirming that “Japan’s dependency on nuclear energy will be reduced as much as possible in the medium-range and long-range future.” The paper also highlights weaknesses in the Japanese energy system and says that a new energy policy will be developed by mid-2012. However, energy policy remains a highly controversial issue in Japan.
In the aftermath of the Fukushima catastrophe, Germany announced that it will shut down all of its nuclear power stations by 2022. For several years now, Germany has been in a leading position in the renewable energy sector. Economically weak regions such as the Ruhr area and the Eastern federal states have managed to achieve “green growth” by hosting and building businesses in solar power, wind power and other renewable energy technologies. In the photovoltaic sector alone, employment rose from 63,000 in 2009 to 133,000 in early 2011. For all areas of renewables combined, it is estimated that there will be a total of more than 500,000 jobs by 2030. In Germany renewables are widely seen as a chance and a source for new jobs. Nonetheless controversies about infrastructure and new grids, prices etc. remain.
From February 26 to March 1, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Japanese-German Center Berlin will host a delegation from Japan to study and discuss Germany’s nuclear phase-out as well as perspectives for alternative energy sources in Germany and Japan. The program is targeted at political decision-makers (from the national, regional, local levels), journalists, NGO representatives, researchers and think tankers.
The program will be composed of bilateral talks with German experts from ministries, Parliament, think tanks, universities, businesses, civil society and interest groups as well as a field visit and a concluding panel discussion on February 29, 2012, at 4 p.m.at the JDZB. The program will be held in English (with the exception of the panel discussion which will be interpreted German-Japanese simultaneously).