Energy Transformation Requires Research
The fast transformation of our energy supply requires new solutions for grids and intermediate storage facilities as well as an increase in efficiency in all technologies. Energy research within the Helmholtz Association addresses these tasks and invests an additional 135 million Euro to close the gaps in our research, to pool and further develop our competences and to promote the energy transformation to our best ability.
The Helmholtz Association thus allocates at least 1,331 million Euro for energy research in the period 2010 to 2014. The targeted reinforcement of energy research is made possible in particular by the annual increase in the budget the federal government has promised to the extramural research organisations within the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation.
The additional 135 million Euro are invested in the following measures: The Helmholtz Association invests some 63 million Euro in six portfolio topics on energy storage systems and electrochemical storage facilities, on bioeconomics, emission-free power plants, materials research and geoenergy. The Helmholtz energy initiative helping to develop future-oriented energy technologies is funded with 24 million Euro. 20 million Euro each go to the Helmholtz Institute for Energy Storage Technology Research in Ulm and the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology. The common denominator of all this measures is the inclusion of universities and other partners, so that hitherto scattered competences now are pooled.
Yet the energy transformation requires not only technological innovation, but constitutes also a social challenge, that is dealt with by experts from the social and engineering sciences within the Helmholtz Alliance "Future infrastructures for meeting energy demands - ENERGY-TRANS". Transforming our energy supply necessitates also new infrastructures, such as power lines, pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations or wind parks. Citizens therefore must be given the opportunity for voicing their opinion, also regarding new forms of participation. The energy transformation is likely to fail without wide-ranging acceptance throughout society.