6th Energy Research Programme one year on: a success story
Exactly one year ago the German federal government presented its new Energy Research Programme entitled "Research for an environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy supply". Being one of the first measures to implement the Energy Concept, the Programme aims to strengthen the technological basis for the restructuring of Germany's energy sector. The Ministries involved, i.e. the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), now draw some initial conclusions:
- The new programme immediately struck a chord with the research community. In the first year more than 900 new research projects with funding totalling about 550 million euros were launched in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency. The business sector contributed an additional 215 million euros.
- 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 made available 200 million euros for the first "Energy Storage" promotion scheme. Approximately 400 proposals were submitted; more than 60 of these have already been approved. They show the great interest of industry and science in this research initiative. The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection promoted activities in the field of important storage functions for biomass, e.g. by means of the smart connection of biogas facilities. The next joint initiative in the field of grids is currently being prepared.
- It was agreed within the framework of the Platform for Future-oriented Energy Grids to adjust the incentive-based regulation to take account of research activities. This is to improve the framework conditions for the use of innovative technologies in the context of the upcoming expansion of the grid.
- The "Berlin model" for European research cooperation has been developed on the initiative of Germany and with the support of the European Commission. It is an important step for a faster and unbureaucratic implementation of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan).
- The talks on energy research between the German federal government and the regional governments have proven to be an effective instrument to better coordinate activities. In future they will take place annually.
Exactly one year ago, i.e. on 3 August 2011, the federal government adopted the 6th Energy Research Programme and increased the funding to 3.5 billion euros (for the period 2011-2014). The Programme focuses on key topics relating to the restructuring of Germany's energy supply, i.e. renewable energies, energy efficiency, storage and grids.