Federal cabinet adopts 6th Energy Research Programme
Joint press release by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
The Federal cabinet today adopted the German government's 6th Energy Research Programme entitled "Research for an environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply". The programme is a joint project of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology which has the lead responsibility for the project and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It sets out the guiding principles and priorities of the German government's support policy in the field of innovative energy technologies for the coming years, thus laying the groundwork for an environmentally sound, secure and economical restructuring of Germany's energy supply.
Philipp Rösler, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, stated: "The energy issue is very high on our policy agenda. With the new Energy Research Programme, we are implementing one measure of the energy concept and make an important contribution towards speeding up the move to a new energy policy in Germany. We need innovative and efficient energy technologies to ensure that the shift to the age of renewables takes place in a secure and affordable manner. Our new programme is providing a reliable policy environment for research and development. At the same time, we are supporting the business and research communities as they adapt to meet the major challenges of the 21st century."
Federal Environment Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen stated: "Energy research is key to the further development of renewable energies. We can effectively speed up the transformation of our energy supply by providing qualified research assistance which facilitates targeted support for the development of innovative technologies. The German government's 6th Energy Research Programme focuses on two clear priority areas - renewable energies and energy efficiency. The Federal Environment Ministry will use the funds made available to advance technology development in all areas of renewable energy. We will provide support for projects focussing, for example, on wind power, photovoltaics, solar thermal power plants and geothermal energy. Research assistance for energy storage and grid technologies and combined renewable energy power plants is also a priority here."
Federal Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner said: "Energy research is the basis for a speedy, sustainable and environmentally friendly expansion of renewable energies. Agriculture bears the lion's share of this. Therefore, there will be a massive need for research in this area in the future. We need smart concepts and clever ideas to link the various renewable technologies together in a sensible and efficient way. To this end, the Federal Agriculture Ministry is making around 180 million euros worth of funding available for bioenergy research for the period from 2011 to 2014. New funding priorities, as for example, improving energy efficiency, enhancing the energy storage capacity of bioenergy and expanding decentralised supply structures will help to further boost bioenergy."
Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, Federal Research Minister, stated: "The transformation of our energy supply requires advances in science and research. We need to develop a broad range of technologies to keep various options open for us. The Federal Research Ministry is stepping up its assistance for basic research on renewable energies and energy efficiency. We are supporting the development of new energy storage technologies and the move to climate-neutral cities. Thus, our research agenda is designed to enable German science to play a pioneering role worldwide."
With its 6th Energy Research Programme, the German government is adding a new strategic approach to its energy and climate policy. This approach places emphasis on enhanced assistance for research into and development of forward-looking energy technologies. The German government's budget for energy research clearly reflects its commitment in this regard as it is making around 3.4 billion euros available for energy research for the period from 2011 to 2014. The remarkable increase in funding of around 75 percent compared to the period from 2006 to 2009 will mainly be used for the newly established "Energy and Climate Fund". The funds will be employed for strategic priority areas that are vital for a speedy transformation of Germany's energy supply: renewable energies, energy efficiency, energy storage, grid technologies and the integration of renewable energies into the energy supply system.
With the joint funding initiatives of the ministries involved, the German government is providing a fresh stimulus to the research landscape, focussing the research community's core competencies on key energy policy issues and further expanding international research cooperation. In this context, it is particularly important to better link the research activities within the European Union. Finally, the German government is strengthening the coordination of all energy research activities by expanding the "Coordination Platform for Energy Research".
Further information about the 6th Energy Research Programme is available on the websites of the Federal Ministries.