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Research policy for the energy transition in the building and district sectors

Without a contribution from science, it will not be possible to master the task of turning energy systems around for society as a whole. Research must provide the foundations for accelerating the restructuring of Germany's energy supply and putting it on a secure footing. It helps to develop the necessary concepts, processes and technologies to achieve the goals of energy system transition.The energy system transformation should halve primary energy consumption by 2050 and increase the share of renewable energies in consumption to over 60 percent. As part of the 7th Energy Research Programme, the Federal Government supports projects that contribute to achieving the energy policy goals of the Federal Government. The 7th Energy Research Programme addresses both technology-specific funding priorities and cross-technology cross-cutting issues. This is because the transformation of the energy landscape must be designed in a cross-system and socially responsible way.

With a view to tapping efficiency potential and integrating renewable energies in the heating sector, the building sector plays a key role in the energy transition process. Buildings and cities are taking on an increasing share of the needs-based, decentralised provision of heating, cooling and electricity, whereby the systemic interaction of buildings, districts and energy infrastructure is gaining in importance. In view of this, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has summarised the funding priorities in the area of energy-optimised buildings and districts in the Energiewendebauen research initiative.

In terms of content, Energiewendebauen therefore bundles and links together the “Energy Optimised Building” (EnOB), “Energy-Efficient City” (EnEff: Stadt) and “Energy-efficient Heating and Cooling Networks” (EnEff: Wärme) research initiatives with the thermal energy storage and low-temperature solar thermal energy research areas and the “Solar Construction/Energy-Efficient City” and “EnEff.Gebäude.2015” funding initiatives.

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