On 18 October 2018, the Federal Government published the new funding announcement for the 7th Energy Research Programme. One of the four priorities is the use of energy - in buildings and neighbourhoods, for example. Research institutions and companies can now submit applications via the federal funding portal "Easy-Online".
A central challenge of the research area Energy Use is to research and optimize the interaction of the technologies that can be used in buildings and neighbourhoods in the system. This includes investigations on the part of both users and energy producers. In future, funding will be based on the principle of "energy-optimised and climate-neutral buildings of the future". The reduction of primary energy requirements, the integration of renewable energies and the associated drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the production, operation, modernisation and dismantling of buildings is the main objective of research, development and demonstration projects.
Energy transition in the district
At the district level, innovative system solutions for greater energy efficiency and the integration of renewable energies are promoted, while at the same time being integrated into an overall long-term urban strategy. A special focus is on districts in transition, districts of sector coupling and integrated solutions for the energy infrastructure of urban areas. In addition, there is the planning, implementation and monitoring of innovative supply concepts.
Funding announcement for the 7th Energy Research Programme
The current funding announcement concretizes the strategic objectives of the 7th Energy Research Programme of the Federal Government "Innovations for the Energy Turnaround", which was published in September 2018. It sets out in detail the future requirements for project funding within the framework of applied non-nuclear energy research by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi). The focus will be on technologies that promise significant increases in efficiency, a better integration of renewable energies, the guarantee of security of supply and a faster transfer of research results to the market. The primary objective of research funding is to assume part of the high scientific, technical and economic risks associated with the development and market introduction of innovative energy technologies in order to support their technical and economic development to market maturity. This is achieved through a technology-open funding approach that takes social processes into account.
The call for proposals addresses developments with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of TRL 3 to 9 and is intended to help applicants to identify promising research topics. The announcement covers four focal points:
- Energy use (buildings and neighbourhoods, industry and commerce, energy system transformation in transport and fuel cells)
- Energy supply (wind energy, photovoltaics, bioenergy, geothermal energy, hydropower and ocean energy as well as thermal power plants - solar and conventional)
- Systems integration (electricity grids, storage, sector coupling and hydrogen technologies)
- Cross-system research topics of the energy system transformation (technology-oriented system analysis, technologies for CO2 cycle management, digitisation of the energy system transformation, resource efficiency as well as technology-accompanying research work on societal issues of the energy system transformation).
A budget of around 6 billion euros has been earmarked for the funding of research projects under the 7th Energy Research Programme until 2022. In the future, new trends such as sector coupling and the digitalisation of the energy industry will also be taken up. Another pillar is the so-called real laboratories. In these, market-oriented technologies, concepts and business ideas are tested under practical conditions. Furthermore, the Federal Government is stepping up its efforts to open up start-up companies with their fresh and innovative ideas in energy research to flexible and unbureaucratic opportunities.