Shaping a vision for the energy transition

Only with a successful energy transition can Germany achieve its climate targets. So far, however, a positive vision is still missing that makes gains and opportunities visible and enables long-term framework conditions. The project "EnVision - Shaping a Vision for the Energiewende" contributes to such a vision and develops concrete proposals for political decision-makers. To this end, it identifies areas of tension and value conflicts in the energy transition in a series of trialogues and thus attempts to resolve blockades.

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

Project results were developed within the framework of various dialogue formats, with discussions structured on the basis of an impulse paper. The project was accompanied 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. The project was funded by the E.ON Foundation.


"A vision should fulfill three aspects: First, it should not be limited to the energy transition, but address all areas of life. Second, it should be ambitious and provide a clear direction. That means also clarifying conflicting goals and not just agreeing on the lowest common denominator. And third, it should be developed together with citizens."

Marian Schreier, Mayor 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 transformation. If it is to succeed, it is necessary to question everyday habits. Ultimately, therefore, to make the energy transition a success, the question must be answered, "How will we want to live in the future?" The project results show that there cannot be a single process. Rather, various elements must interlock, 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 of those involved in the project expect that individual behavior patterns will also change in the long term as a result of the pandemic, such as mobility behavior and the use of digital media and formats.

Further information on the EnVision project

The project approached the questions in more than 20 individual discussions and key question interviews with experts from science, politics and administration, business and organized civil society. Subsequently, three expert workshops and a trialogue were held as part of the project. In two steering meetings, the project team discussed interim results with a monitoring group consisting of experienced experts from the various stakeholder groups. The final report summarizes the collected results.


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

Prof. Dr. Lucia Reisch, Copenhagen School of Business

Video documentation

Why do we need visions for the energy transition? Participants will include Dirk Neubauer, who as mayor of Augustusburg has visioned in citizens' projects, Eva Welskop-Deffaa - head of social and energy policy at the German Caritas Association, and René Mono, the executive director of the 100 percent renewable foundation.

How do we achieve visions that are supported by society? Among others, Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald - Director of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Annemarie Botzki - Press Spokesperson Extinction Rebellion and MdB Lukas Köhler - Climate Policy Spokesperson of the FDP Parliamentary Group.

How does Covid-19 affect 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 Transformative Social Research as well as MdB Barbara Hendricks Health Minister (ret.).

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