EnVision – Shaping a Vision for the Energy Transition (2019 – 2020)

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Germany can only achieve its climate targets with a successful energy transition. Although a large part of the population, businesses, politics and science support the energy system transformation, it is stalling. A positive vision is lacking that can make benefits and opportunities more visible and helps to set long-term framework conditions. The project “EnVision – Shaping a Vision for the Energy Transition” highlights tensions and conflicts of values of the transition and works out recommendations for political decision-makers on if and how to develop a common vision.

The project wants to contribute to dissolve the current stagnation in the energy system transformation and to link the debates about the energy system transformation and climate protection more closely. A discussion about technologies and quantitative targets only is not sufficient. We also need to answer normative and social questions. Yet, the project “EnVision” does not aim to provide a vision, but rather to contrive a basis for developing a vision by drawing upon examples and principles.

The project results will be worked out in the context of various dialogue formats, and the discussions shall be structured based on an impulse paper. The project is accompanied by a working group of voluntary members of the National Academy of Science and Engineering as well as an Advisory Board with high-ranking representatives from various stakeholder groups.

The HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform is leading out the project together with acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering. The project is funded by the innogy Foundation for Energy and Society.

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Kick-off event: Steering Committee 28.01.2020
At the kick-off event on 28 January 2020, 17 experts from science, business and civil society discussed which developments are currently slowing down the energy system transformation and how existing contradictions and areas of tension could be overcome. A central question was wEnVision Auftakt Visual Recording Ausschnitt 300x192 - EnVision - Shaping a Vision for the Energy Transition (2019 - 2020)hether a common vision was necessary for this and how this would have to be shaped to motivate the majority of society.
The event was opened by Reinhard F. Hüttl, Vice President of acatech. “A social consensus is needed for a low-emission future. We need a common vision. But this vision must also be achievable,” explained Reinhard Hüttl. Participants at the event expressed different views on the benefits of a vision for energy system transformation. The basic tenor: visions of the future can make an important contribution, provided they are developed in a credible and confidence-building manner. But there can be no single vision alone – the change is too comprehensive and complex for that. A common goal could be to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. However, the path to this goal must be communicated to all social actors in a transparent and comprehensible manner. “EnVision should be a project that encourages and takes away fear,” summarized Pia Haase, one of the spokespersons of Fridays for Future Berlin.
The participants agreed that the motivation for implementing the energy system transformation begins at the local level. Cities and municipalities are already involved in climate protection and local energy production in many different ways. There, citizen participation can be experienced at first hand. One challenge, however, is to transfer successful projects to other regions and also to establish them at state and federal level. In some cases, the prerequisites are very different, and the perspectives of the citizens differ from place to place.
“We need a basic consensus on what freedom, justice and solidarity mean for us,” concluded Gesine Schwan, President of the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform. The half-day event was accompanied by the graphics and communications agency Ellery Studio. In a “Gallery Walk”, these areas of conflict illustrated the energy turnaround, examples of best practice and the importance of visions in order to inspire the participants for the discussion.

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