The success of Germany’s energy transition is not only dependent on a major increase in the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix; a significant improvement in the efficiency of the provision and consumption of energy, resources and materials is also an important factor. At the same time, the extraordinary flexibility required for restructuring the energy supply must be developed with regard to fuel types, energy production and the entire surrounding infrastructure in order to meet the diverse energy needs of society and industry. This must also be done in a way that is either based on or complements the use of renewables, while maintaining competitiveness and high environmental standards.
This research programme combines the need for greater efficiency in energy production and consumption of resources with the development of new materials, bringing together challenges from the fields of energy, materials and resources across five programme topics. The topic Efficient and Flexible Power Plants involves the further development of both centralised and decentralised power plants with regard to achieving a higher fuel and load flexibility as their efficiency continues to increase. The Energy Efficient Processes programme topic focuses on industrial production technologies that have a high relevance to the consumption of energy and resources, while research activities in the area of Methods and Concepts for Materials Development investigate the development of materials for improved efficiency in energy conversion and industrial processes. In addition, the programme topic Efficient Use of Fuel Resources pursues the development and optimisation of processes and procedures involved in converting raw energy materials (biogenic fuels and fossil fuels) into chemical energy carriers. Finally, the area of Resource Technologies deals with comprehensive resource technology research, which taps into the entire value-added chain of raw mineral and metalliferous materials – from exploration and exploitation to processing, metallurgy and recycling.