Research coordination of the funding initiative `An environmentally and socially compatible transformation of the German energy system` conducted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The societal and political decision in favour of the German energy transition (Energiewende) should result in a transformation of the energy system. As opposed to historical transformations, the planned transformation offers the chance to actively design the process. At the same time there are preconditions, influences and different interests which complicate the optimal transformation and which therefore should be considered accordingly in the planning phase. On the one hand, the process of transformation has already started and changes induced by individual innovations have already taken place (example: renewable energies in the electricity sector). On the other hand, policy-makers are faced with the big challenge to coordinate this intentional and accelerated transformation which is characterised by limited controllability and current uncertainty relating to process responsibility. Due to the numerous intra-societal conflicts that persist, many different opinions and preferences have to be taken into account, which complicates the whole process and requires tremendous efforts. Moreover, still pending decisions on which technical option to choose and surprising market processes make it more difficult to develop long-term plans. In order to address this complex set of challengess and to elaborate new approaches, the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) supports 33 research and development projects under the programme "Environmentally and socially compatible transformation of the energy system". The Oeko-Institut together with the Institute for Social-Ecological Research was commissioned with the research coordination of the individual projects.

The research coordination team has set the following targets:

- to increase the effects of the individual research projects as well as their results;

- to improve the transferring of knowledge into practice and to accelerate the process of knowledge transfer;

- to comprehend participation and to optimally design the participation process;

- to systematically set up methods on transfer and participation;

- to comprehend transformation and to optimally design the transformation process;

- to synthesize and translate the results of the support measure into the societal debate parallel to the implementation of the project.

Parallel to the implementation of the project, the project results and the contributions of the research coordination team will be published on a website that has been specifically designed for this purpose: