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 will be addressed. The project is meant to present 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.
For this purpose, eight study groups were established that bundle expertise from research and economy. Beside the study groups “Ausgangssituation” (starting situation), “Umsetzungsoptionen” (implementation options), and “Szenarien” (scenarios) that assessed the transitional process from an integrative perspective, there also were five thematically oriented study groups “Ressourcen” (resources), “Technologien” (technologies), “Recht” (legal), “Gesellschaft” (society), and “Ökonomie” (economy).
The study group “Szenarien” was headed by Armin Grunwald and was coordinated by Christian Dieckhoff in terms of content and organization. The purpose of the study group was to review the basics on scenario methods so that they become useful for the project. First, in this context, basic terms were clarified. Consequently, the possibilities and limits of the method were assessed. The results were publishes in the analyse “Zur Interpretation von Energieszenarien” (on the interpretation of energy scenarios; available only in German). Based on this, the working group developed quality criteria for the generation and use of energy scenarios in scientific policy advice as well as suggestions for the improvement of this practice. These results were published in the position paper “Consulting with energy scenarios”.
After three years the first phase of the project (“Energiesysteme der Zukunft I”) ended in spring 2016 and with it the working group “Szenarien”. The project’s second phase immediately follows the first for three additional years. The project is collectively conducted by all of the German scientific academies, the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) having a leading role.