200 million euros for research into energy storage
Joint press release by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
The Federal Ministries of Economics and Technology, for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and of Education and Research have launched a joint initiative to promote research and development in the field of energy storage technologies. The notice of the funding has been published in the Federal Gazette and outline research proposals can now be submitted.
This funding initiative results from the desire to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy in Germany and to optimise the energy systems for the bulk of renewable energy. The aim is that renewable sources should meet 80% of Germany's expected electricity demand in 2050. The supply of electricity needs to match demand at all times, whether it is a question of responding to short-term fluctuations in supply or long-term storage over a period of months. In addition to smart load management and new grid structures, therefore, the increased use of storage facilities will be important in the medium to long term in order to safeguard the security and reliability of the electricity supply.
In a first phase up to 2014, the three ministries will provide a total of up to ¤ 200 million for the "Energy Storage Funding Initiative"; they will manage the programme jointly in order to ensure that the assistance is provided in a targeted and efficient manner. The support will go towards research projects to develop a broad range of storage technologies for electricity, heat and other forms of energy. Whilst some energy storage methods, such as pumped storage plants, are already operating on an economic basis, a large number of technologies are still at a basic research or developmental stage. An example is the redox flow battery. And the same is true of thermally optimised compressed air storage facilities, in which the intermediate storage of the heat increases the efficiency. We urgently need innovations and advances in technology in order to master the technological challenges and to bring new storage technologies to the market quickly.