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Image: Jülich Research Center

In order to act with foresight, to recognize the opportunities of new technologies early on and to reduce the risks for the environment and the economy, systems analytical knowledge is required. This is why the Helmholtz Association is pursuing a long-term and holistic approach to hydrogen research: Around 600 staff from ten centers have been researching this field for several decades – the spectrum ranges from the basics to applications. Technological research is complemented by systems analysis and socio-economic perspectives. The aim is to improve the energy system in all its facets.

This interdisciplinary cooperation is necessary to make better use of synergies and ensure that hydrogen can make a decisive contribution to climate protection. The individual Helmholtz Centers and Research Fields work intensively together and cooperate with other players from science and industry to prepare the transfer to the market. In demonstration projects, pilot plants and so-called "real laboratories of the energy transition", researchers test and improve new technologies and promote the large-scale use of hydrogen applications.

Transformation Strategies for the German Energy System up to 2050

Germany set the target of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions to 80–95 percent that of 1990 by 2050. Scientists have analyzed two different scenarios. The core result: A reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent is technically and economically feasible. A reduction of CO2 emissions by 95 percent is much more demanding and expensive.

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Real laboratory for the energy transition

In the "Living Lab Energy Campus", Forschungszentrum Jülich demonstrates how the energy policy goals of the energy turnaround can be achieved through a systems-oriented approach and the use of innovative technologies in an existing built environment. The entire research campus becomes a large experimental field in which the interactions between technology, energy sources and consumers are investigated.

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Energy Lab 2.0

The Energy Lab 2.0 is a large-scale research infrastructure in which the interaction of components of future energy systems is explored and new approaches to stabilizing energy grids are tested under realistic conditions. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is working closely with the Jülich Research Center and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

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The P2X Kopernikus project

To make Germany climate-neutral by 2050, the transport, industrial, and heating sectors require low-emissions solutions. The Kopernikus project P2X studies one of the most promising avenues for this: power-to-X technologies. These are technologies which convert renewably generated electricity into other forms of energy, for example fuels, plastics, heat, gases, chemicals, and cosmetics.

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