The Federal Cabinet today adopted the 2021 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. The lead responsibility for the implementation of the 7th Energy Research Programme rests with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which is supported in this by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The report also describes the funding provided by the Länder and EU research policy in the field of energy

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier said: “Energy research is the central strategic key on the path to climate neutrality. Innovations for the energy transition pave the way towards climate neutrality whilst also boosting our economy. Forward-looking energy technologies from Germany are in demand all around the world. This shows that ecology and economic activity are not contradictions, but are two sides of the same coin. If we are to achieve our ambitious goal of climate neutrality in 2050, we cannot afford to lose time: we need to bring innovations to market even more quickly. For this reason, energy research is a major pillar of our National Hydrogen Strategy, and is fostering the market ramp-up of a hydrogen economy. Also, the regulatory sandboxes for the energy transition are a new funding format which help to transfer industrial-scale innovative projects into practice. Five of these regulatory sandboxes have already been launched.”

Said Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek: “Tomorrow’s energy supply must be climate-neutral, secure and affordable. This is a major challenge. In order to tackle it, the scientific and business communities need to develop and apply innovative energy technologies. We took important decisions in 2020 to make this happen. Thanks to our National Hydrogen Strategy, we are pumping massive amounts of investment into the energy source of the future: green hydrogen. We want to make our country the world’s leading provider of hydrogen technologies. And we want to make sure that Germany remains a highly competitive industrialised country – with a reliable supply of clean energy. In this way, we are also safeguarding jobs in the chemical and steel sectors, and are facilitating the creation of countless good new jobs, for example in plant construction. I am sure that, as Germany continues to benefit from the global energy transition, its economy will also benefit. At the same time, we will need further innovations so that we can provide all our consumers with renewable energy in a secure and efficient way. Digital tools will help us to coordinate the fluctuating supply of solar and wind energy with demand. Storage technology and smart grids and meters mean that we need have no fears of blackouts due a lack of wind or sun.”

Federal Minister Julia Klöckner said: “If we are to have a sustainable, carbon-free energy supply, we will need to use more biomass. It is the ‘all-rounder’ in the line-up of renewable energy sources: solid, liquid and gaseous biomass – such as straw, biowaste, solid and liquid manure – can be used to produce electricity, heat and fuel. And it has even more to offer: it is available flexibly, doesn’t depend on the weather or time of day, and is easy to store. In this way, agriculture and forestry are making an indispensable contribution to the energy transition and thus to reaching the climate targets. It can also be an additional source of income for farmers. This makes professional and expert research in this field all the more important. The German Biomass Research Centre is an important partner for this, and I am funding it via my ministry in order to guarantee the best policy environment for applied biomass research.”

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 2020, the Federal Government spent around €1.22 billion on the research, development and demonstration of modern energy and efficiency technologies for the energy transition. This represents an increase of about 6% compared with the previous year (2019: €1.15 billion).

The central information system on energy research of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, known as EnArgus, gives a comprehensive overview (in German) of the data contained in the report as regards project funding and current and completed research projects..