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News – What`s happening in energy research

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The cover image of the 6th Energy Research Programme shows a solar tower power plant developed in Germany.
© DLR
German government draws initial balance
07.08.2012

One year of the 6th Energy Research Programme

One year ago, the German government presented its new energy research programme entitled “Research for an environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply”. During this period more than 900 research projects were funded to the tune of 550 million euros. As one of the first measures to implement the energy concept, the programme aims to strengthen the technological bases for the energy turnaround. The four participating federal ministries have now drawn an initial balance.

The 6th Energy Research Programme was adopted one year ago by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). 550 million euros haves now been spent on funding more than 900 projects. The German government is therefore proceeding fully according to plan. Another 215 million euros is being contributed by business. The BMWi, BMU and BMBF federal ministries have provided 200 million euros for the first joint research initiative, entitled “Energy storage systems”. Around 400 submitted proposals, of which more than 60 were approved (BINE reported), demonstrate the considerable interest shown by business and science. The BMELV, for example, has funded important biomass storage capabilities achieved by intelligently networking biogas plants.
The next joint focus is on networks: In the “future-proof energy networks” platform, the adaptation of the incentive regulation to take into account research activities was agreed upon, which improves the framework conditions for utilising innovative technologies in the forthcoming expansion of the grid.
At the instigation of Germany and with the support of the EU Commission, the “Berlin Model” was developed for European research cooperation schemes. It accelerates the unbureaucratic implementation of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan).
With the adoption of the Energy Research Programme one year ago, the German government has increased funds for the 6th Energy Research Programme to 3.5 billion euros (for 2011 until 2014). This corresponds to an increase of around 75 per cent relative to the comparison period from 2006 to 2009. 684 million euros of this additional funding is being mostly financed from the Energy and Climate Fund set up in 2011. The focuses are on renewable energies, energy efficiency, storage systems and networks. In 2014, the German government wants to invest almost 80 per cent of its research budget in these four fields that will be important for Germany’s future energy supplies.

The 6th Energy Research Programme, entitled “Research for an environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply”, is available as a brochure and can be downloaded from the Internet.

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