Research Field Energy

Global bottlenecks are predictable - in the reliable supply of energy and the safe disposal and treatment of wastes, residues and emissions. Helmholtz energy researchers are looking for solutions to meet the needs of present and future generations.


The Helmholtz scientists involved in the field of energy research are working to develop solutions to secure an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable supply of energy.

They are examining all the relevant energy chains, including technological and socioeconomic conditions and impacts on the climate and environment. One important goal is to replace fossil and nuclear fuels with sustainable climate-neutral energy sources. Scientists are also seeking to determine the potential of renewables such as solar, biomass and geothermal energy. They are working to increase the efficiency of conventional power plants and energy use as a whole. Finally, the Helmholtz Association is researching nuclear fusion in order to develop a new source of energy over the long term, and its scientists are experts in the area of nuclear safety research.


The energy transition is one of the greatest challenges for the present and the future. In its 6th Energy Research Programme, the German government focuses on strategies and technologies that are vital for restructuring energy supplies: renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage and grid technologies. The Helmholtz Association strongly supports the German government's strategy and, by providing expertise and experience, is making a major contribution to its implementation. In addition, it is closing research gaps and seeking to achieve more rapid progress in all relevant fields. Helmholtz research engages with a broad spectrum of options and devotes as much attention to basic research as to application-oriented studies. Furthermore, the Helmholtz Association is supplementing technological topics with socioeconomic research in order to optimise energy systems with respect to all social, economic and political factors.

Print Version


Around 600 employees at ten Helmholtz Centers are researching hydrogen technologies. The Competence Map Hydrogen summarises the extensive research activities.

Competence Map Hydrogen (Handout, June 2020)