The Federal Cabinet today adopted the 2020 Federal Report on Energy Research. The report gives a comprehensive overview of the Federal Government's energy research promotion policy and presents the progress made in the context of the 7th Energy Research Programme. Together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has the lead responsibility for the implementation of the 7th Energy Research Programme. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is also involved in the implementation.
Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “Research and development make an indispensable contribution to the energy transition and climate change mitigation. Progress in terms of efficiency and technologies as well as falling costs of renewables have made the energy transition possible in the first place. Energy research is therefore a strategic element of our energy policy. It contributes to strengthening Germany as a place to do business, with new technologies and applications for a reliable, climate-friendly energy supply at affordable prices. In this context, it is essential to rapidly transfer research findings into practice. For this purpose, we have successfully launched the first regulatory sandboxes for the energy transition and thus laid the first building block for the National Hydrogen Strategy.”
Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek said: “We are doing all we can to reach our climate targets – and at the same time make our industry strong and competitive. As we phase out nuclear and coal-fired power generation, we need to press ahead with promoting promising areas such as green hydrogen. We will only succeed along this path towards a sustainable energy supply if we become world champions in terms of innovative energy technologies and strong energy research. I am firmly convinced that strong energy research will enable us to reach our climate targets in Germany. I therefore attach great importance to further intensifying our activities to strengthen energy research. Sector coupling is a good example here: in order to be able to produce steel and chemicals in a climate-friendly way, we also need to make renewable energy usable for industrial processes. Energy research is therefore working hard to develop the innovations needed for this purpose. In the context of the P2X Kopernikus Project, for instance, research is being done on how to make green hydrogen usable for the chemical industry. And the MACOR Project is showing us how we can replace coal with hydrogen in steel production. I am firmly convinced that innovations for the energy transition will make the transition a success.”
Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner said: “Agriculture and forestry can make an indispensable contribution to the energy transition and thus to reaching the climate targets, by means of CO2 storage in soil and woods, on the one hand, and biomass, on the other hand. Unlike wind and solar energy, biomass is always available. And not only that: a waste product that is harmful to the climate can be made usable through the fermentation of manure in two ways – to generate power and produce fertiliser. And this is why we need professional, efficient and globally interconnected research in the field of bioenergy to make full use of the spectrum of the biomass made available by agriculture and forestry. This also generates added value. We need to restore the balance between energy generation based on farming biomass, on the one hand, and waste and residues, on the other hand, for an efficient circular economy.”
Under the 7th Energy Research Programme, the Federal Government intends to make available funds totalling around €6.4 billion in the 2018-2022 period. In 2019, the Federal Government spent around €1.15 billion on the research, development and demonstration of modern energy and efficiency technologies for the energy transition. This represents an increase of about 9% compared with the previous year (2018: €1.06 billion). In the context of project funding, the Federal Government invested €97.3 billion in research projects of small and medium-sized enterprises.
The central information system on energy research of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, known as EnArgus (www.enargus.de [in German]), gives a comprehensive overview (in German) of the data contained in the report as regards project funding and current and completed research projects.