Energy sciences and innovation – industry delivers solutions and calls for stronger efforts

Montagearbeiten im Plasmagefäß der Fusionsanlage „ASDEX Upgrade" des Max-Planck-Instituts für Plasmaphysik – die Kernfusion ist nur ein Forschungsfeld für Energiegewinnung der Zukunft. ©IPP

The energy transition is striding forward. Any plane passenger flying over Germany can look down from his window seat and see countless revolving wind turbines. But how are further aspects of the energy transition going? What technological priorities need to be set for energy research in order for German suppliers to remain in the international vanguard of energy technologies also into the future? Lastly, what can State and industry do together concretely in the area of research and development so that Germany can also continue to produce reliably, cleanly and competitively going forward?

In the brochure “Priorities for energy research in Germany in 2016”, BDI’s Energy Research and Energy Technologies Working Group assessed twenty-seven technology fields on the basis of nine criteria in order to ascertain the ten essential technological priorities for energy research. If State and industry progress these themes together, the key problems of the energy transition which are already becoming clear can be managed. “With the brochure, we have identified themes which go beyond the further development of individual, isolated components and move the energy system forward as a whole”, says Frank-Detlef Drake, Head of Research and Development at RWE AG and a member of the drafting team (see the colophon of the attached brochure for a full list of members).

Development of a more sustainable energy supply for a planet which is still growing offers great economic opportunities. However, the international competition for the best research locations, brains and solutions is correspondingly intensive. “Declining State support for research or even falling behind the position of other non-EU countries would lead to considerable competitive disadvantages for German and also European companies and research institutions”, says Holger Lösch, Member of BDI’s Executive Board. Germany can be a laboratory working on solutions that meet industrial standards. This would give German companies a head start. The brochure therefore sets out additional recommendations for the shape of energy research policy and the financial resources earmarked for it.

Broad industrial expertise taken into consideration

BDI’s Energy Research and Energy TechnologiesWorking Group brings together the expertise of the most essential industrial sectors for energy provision. Their companies are very closely involved in energy technology issues through their products and production processes. Either they earn their money with energy technologies, generate and trade electricity, or they have to use energy as efficiently as possible in their production processes. Lastly, it is industry that identifies the main challenges and can then deliver solutions for this multi-generational project. The brochure therefore makes proposals in the form of individual specifications for concrete research tasks in the prioritised technology fields.

Please find the publication attached.