11/25/2015, Berlin

The future of our energy supply

First results of the Delphi Energy Future 2040 study presented

How will energy systems in Germany, Europe and around the world change by the year 2040? This comprehensive question is addressed for the first time by the forward-looking study Delphi Energy Future 2040, a joint international project carried out by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

What are the technological and social developments that will fundamentally transform the energy markets? Will Germany's role as a pioneer in implementing a large-scale transition towards a sustainable energy system ultimately benefit the country in economic and political terms? These and other questions are the focus of the Delphi Energy study, for which we surveyed more than 350 energy experts from over 40 countries and all areas of business, science and politics. First results are now available and were presented today in Berlin by Hildegard Müller, Chairwoman of the General Executive Management Board of BDEW, Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board of GIZ, and Dr Norbert Schwieters, Global Energy, Utilities & Mining Leader at PwC.

The majority of the experts participating in the survey (more than 60 per cent) believe that the international community will agree binding targets for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2040 – and what is more, also implement them. According to the study, an increased global deployment of renewable energy sources is seen as a key factor that will drive action for effective climate protection. 80 per cent of respondents view renewable energy sources as the most favourable alternative to generate electricity.

The experts surveyed were also largely in agreement on one other point: over the course of the next two decades Europe is expected to establish harmonised domestic energy policies and achieve an effective internal energy market on the basis of high-performance infrastructure that operates across national borders. Most experts also consider it likely that Germany will be the world's leading nation in managing, and designing the technology for, energy systems that primarily rely on renewable energy sources. Yet many of them also see China becoming the world's largest developer of renewable energy technologies by 2040. So companies might have to brace themselves for a future in which several players compete for the position as technology leader.

Other results from the study: conventional power stations will become smaller and more flexible as consumers adapt their demand – for example through demand side management. The experts were split on whether supply security would be valued at a premium and be sold as an extra service in the future. But one thing is certain: companies will have to redesign their business models – with a strong focus on their customers. The aim of the Delphi study is to provide guidance for businesses as well as for policymakers and society in finding answers to the above and many other questions.

The final results of the study will be published at the beginning of 2016.


Jan Ulland
Press Spokesman for BDEW
T: +49 (0) 30/300 199-1162

Anja Tomic
Deputy GIZ Spokesperson
T: +49 (0) 6196/79-2668

Stefanie Nürnberger
PwC Press Office
T: +49 (0) 69/9585-5539