Shaping a vision for the energy transition

Germany can only achieve its climate targets with a successful energy transition. However, a positive vision that visualises the benefits and opportunities and enables long-term framework conditions is still lacking. The project "EnVision - Shaping a vision for the energy transition" contributes to such a vision and develops concrete proposals for political decision-makers. To this end, it identifies areas of tension and conflicting values in the energy transition in a series of trialogues in an attempt to resolve blockages.

The project helps to break the current deadlock in the energy transition and to link the debates on the energy transition and climate protection more closely together. A discussion only about technologies and quantitative targets is not enough. Normative and social questions must also be answered. Using examples and principles, EnVision demonstrates the basis on which a social vision for the energy transition can be developed.

Project results were developed in various dialogue formats and the discussions were structured on the basis of an impulse paper. The project was supported by a working group of honorary members of the German Academy of Science and Engineering and an advisory board with high-ranking representatives from various stakeholder groups.

The Berlin Governance Platform carried out the project together with acatech - German Academy of Science and Engineering through. The project was funded by the E.ON Foundation.

"A vision should fulfil three aspects: Firstly, it should not be limited to the energy transition, but should address all areas of life. Secondly, it should be ambitious and set a clear direction. This also means clarifying conflicting goals and not just agreeing on the lowest common denominator. And thirdly, it should be developed together with the citizens."

Marian Schreier, Mayor of Tengen

01/2019 – 04/2020


Katja Treichelt, Julian Kilchling



Conclusion: We need positive visions for the energy transition

A consistent energy transition means a social transformation. This is because the energy transition is more than just a change in energy production and consumption; it is not limited to a technical reorganisation. If it is to succeed, it is necessary to scrutinise everyday habits. In order to make the energy transition a success, the question must ultimately be answered: "How do we want to live in the future?". The project results show that there cannot be a single process. Rather, various elements must be interlinked. From the international to the local level. And it takes courage and drive to shape the future.

The European Green Deal must also reach the local level

Energy and climate policy cannot be thought of locally, regionally or nationally, but must be understood and implemented as a common challenge. The European Green Deal can be an opportunity for new visions for the energy transition if it also involves the local level, enables participation and uses financial resources transparently and sustainably. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how quickly normalities and routines can change. Can conclusions be drawn from the pandemic and crisis management for the energy transition? Most project participants expect that individual behavioural patterns will also change in the long term as a result of the pandemic, such as mobility behaviour and the use of digital media and formats.

Further information on the EnVision project

The project approached the issues in over 20 individual discussions and key question interviews with experts from academia, politics and administration, business and organised civil society. This was followed by three specialist workshops and a trialogue as part of the project. In two steering meetings, the project team discussed interim results with an advisory group consisting of experienced experts from the various stakeholder groups. The final report summarises the collected results.

"We need an understanding across party lines about where we want to go, how big the task is and also about the fact that it is a national effort from which we can all benefit in the end."

Prof Dr Lucia Reisch, Copenhagen School of Business

Video documentation

Why do we need visions for the energy transition? Among those taking part are Dirk Neubauer, who as mayor of Augustusburg was a visionary in community projects, Eva Welskop-Deffaa - Director of Social and Energy Policy at the German Caritas Association and René Mono, Managing Director of the 100 per cent renewable foundation.

How do we arrive at visions that are supported by society? Prof Dr Armin Grunwald - Director of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Annemarie Botzki - Press Spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion and Lukas Köhler - Climate Policy Spokesperson for the FDP parliamentary group will be among those taking part.

How is Covid-19 affecting visions for the energy transition? Among others, Prof Dr Gesine Schwan - President of the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform and Prof Dr Dr Otwin Renn from the IASS - Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and Barbara Hendricks, former Minister of Health, will be present.

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