Funding initiative Kopernikus Projects for the Energiewende

With the call for applications for Kopernikus Projects for the Energiewende, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aims to develop new energy systems and concepts until they are ready for application on an industrial scale. Attention is focused on the systemic, holistic approach of the projects in comparison to promoting individual technologies. In this respect, the ministry is taking a new approach with its energy research policy. At the heart of the approach is the initiation of innovations for the Energiewende.

Strommasten und Windkrafträder auf einem Feld im Abendlicht (kflGALORE/iStock/Thinkstock)
The heart of the approach is the initiation of innovations for the Energiewende
photo: kflGALORE/iStock/Thinkstock

Very complex research fields with a high research risk and special potential for transforming the energy system by 2025 should be opened up for economic exploitation. The research projects have a total duration of ten years, which will be divided into funding periods with increasing industrial participation. In this way, results from basic research will be developed until ready for application. BMBF is providing up to € 120 million for the first funding phase until 2019. Up to 2025, a further € 280 million will be provided.

In a broad-based process of social dialogue between representatives of science, industry, and civil society, who have worked together as part of the Forschungsforum Energiewende, the research forum for the Energiewende, the following topics have been identified:

• New grid structures:
In selected urban and rural regions, projects will be set up to test the interaction between intelligent decentralized and European integrated supply grids ensuring security of supply and data protection.

• More flexible use of renewable resources/power-to-X:
The aim is to develop the industrial-scale prerequisites for extracting renewables from the electricity sector and using them in the fields of heat, mobility, and chemical base materials. The project will provide the basic industrial-scale prerequisites for the chemical storage of more than 90 percent of the renewables which will be available in future, even if they are not required at the particular moment in time.

• Orientation to industrial processes and fluctuating energy supply:
Selected industrial processes will be linked to the volatile feed-in of renewables. It is planned to create the necessary conditions for Germany to become the main supplier of these customized technologies and processes by 2030.

System integration/transformation and interlinking the energy supply:
The aim is to draw up consistent concepts for shaping a sustainable German energy system. This will be verified on the basis of systems analysis studies in model regions. Consideration will be given to social, ecological, economic, and technical aspects, as well as the overall European context.

Further information on the consortia (in German) can be found here.

Last update: 24.04.2017