The purpose of the project “Future Energy Systems” (ESYS) of the German academies of science is to bring together interdisciplinary scientific expertise available in Germany on the issue of energy to contribute to the solution of the various challenges rising with the energy transition. Beside technological feasibility, economical and legal problems, aspects regarding efficient resource utilization and societal acceptance are addressed. The project presents options for the realization of an efficient, safe, fundable, and sustainable energy transition. It provides a scientific basis for the public discussion about the energy transition.
After three years the first phase of the project (“Energiesysteme der Zukunft I”) ended in spring 2016. The project’s second phase immediately follows the first for three additional years. The project is organized in working groups. Each group joins 10 to 20 experts for the analysis of one concrete matter in the transformation of Germany’s energy system. The project is collectively conducted by all of the German scientific academies, the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) having a leading role.
The working group “Pfadabhängigkeiten in der Mobilität – Entscheiden zwischen Festlegen und Anpassen” (path-dependencies in mobility – decisions between determination and adaption) is headed by Armin Grunwald and Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute) and is coordinated by Christian Dieckhoff and Dirk Vetter (acatech). The working group addresses a trade-off frequently faced in the transformation of the energy system: on the one hand, we have to decide promptly on measures to reach the climate goals. But many of these measures cause path-dependencies – they determine the future development path of the energy system. On the other hand, in many cases we have good reasons to wait with such a decision, because our knowledge about these measures and their consequences is uncertain or their evaluation is controversial. The working group’s aim is twofold: firstly, it outlines general strategies to cope with this trade-off. Secondly, it applies these strategies to two decision fields in the mobility system (urban mobility and national freight transportation) to formulate concrete options for political-decision making in these fields.