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Renewable Energy in Germany and Japan – Prospects for the Citizen Energy Movement

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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0094, Japan

03 – 3222 5077
03 – 3222 5420


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Renewable Energy in Germany and Japan - Prospects for the Citizen Energy Movement

Renewable Energy in Germany and Japan – Prospects for the Citizen Energy Movement

September 19, 2019 / 6:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Carsten Herbes, Nuertingen-Geislingen University, Germany
Jörg Raupach-Sumiya, Ritsumeikan University, Osaka
Eiji Oishi, Minna Denryoku, Tokyo

Citizen energy, known as “Bürgerenergie”, forms a major pillar of the transition to renewable energies (RE) in Germany. From as early as the 1990s German citizens pioneered in in solar and wind power or biomass energy projects and invested into RE as individual households, companies or as members within more than 900 energy cooperatives. Similarly, though less known, Japan as well has a long-established vibrant citizen energy movement, also referred to as “community power”. While initially focusing on building RE capacity, a growing number of citizen energy companies ventured into direct marketing of “green energy”.

The shift from a feed-in-tariff (FIT) to a feed-in-premium (FIP) and auction scheme, the institutional framework for grid integration, the deregulation of electricity markets, but also the changing social acceptance of RE and the ecological consciousness among the wider public present major challenges for citizen energy projects and their business models. Highlighting differences in the regulatory environment and public opinion, our speakers will be comparing the development of citizen energy in Germany and Japan. Despite differences, the citizen energy movement in both countries is presently challenged by tighter regulations for RE, growing local resistance to RE projects, and barriers to market integration. At the same time, direct markets for “green energy” are underdeveloped in Japan and, albeit more developed, contribute little to the expansion of renewables in Germany. Eiji Oishi will comment the discussion from a practitioner and business point of view.

Carsten Herbes is a professor of International Management and Renewable Energy at Nuertingen-Geislingen University (NGU), Germany and Director of the Institute for International Research on Sustainable Management and Renewable Energy. His research topics include marketing, acceptance and cost of renewable energy as well as energy cooperatives.

Jörg Raupach-Sumiya is a professor for International Management at the College of Business Administration of Ritsumeikan University, Ibaraki/Osaka. His research topics include regional economic effects of renewable energy, business models of municipality-owned utilities (Stadtwerke), and structural changes in the global energy industry.

Eiji Oishi is the founder and President of Minna Denryoku K.K., a Tokyo-based venture-type power retailing company with an innovative business model that focuses on the promotion of renewable energy and sponsoring of citizen energy projects.