With its Energiewende – its energy transition, the German federal government is aiming to transform Germany’s energy provision. Future energy supplies shall be based on highly efficient energy distribution and utilisation as well as energy generation based on renewable energies. This transformation requires considerable technological innovations in almost all areas of the energy system. This is why innovative ideas and concepts shall be systematically promoted in this area.

A decisive challenge for the energy transition is the energy-efficient modernisation of the building sector. This is where about 40 per cent of the final energy is consumed in Germany. Efficiency increases and an improved integration of renewable energies will therefore make a considerable impact here. However, this can only succeed if innovative solutions are developed and brought rapidly to market. A holistic, systemic view of the building and district sector opens up new possibilities here.

As part of the 7th Energy Research Programme, the Federal Government supports projects that contribute to the achievement of the Federal Government's energy policy goals. A central concern is the strengthening of technology and innovation transfer. To this end, real energy system transformation laboratories will be established as a new pillar of energy research. The 7th Energy Research Programme addresses both technology-specific funding priorities and cross-technology cross-sectional topics. This is because the transformation of the energy landscape must be designed to be cross-system and socially inclusive.

The call for proposals for the 7th Energy Research Programme was published on 18 October 2018. The call outlines its strategic goals and details the future requirements for project funding within the scope of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWi) applied non-nuclear energy research. There is a particular focus on technologies that promise significant increases in efficiency, better integration of renewable energy sources, guaranteed energy security, and a quicker transfer of research findings into practice on the market.

Energiewendebauen Research Initiative

A key challenge of energy use research is to investigate and optimize the interaction of technologies in use within a system in buildings and districts. This includes investigations from the perspective of both the consumer and the energy producer. Funding will focus on the guiding principle of energy-optimized and net-zero buildings of the future.

The Federal Government pools its funding for the research, development, and demonstration of energy-efficient buildings and districts within the Energiewendebauen research initiative. This initiative combines the research fields of energy-optimized and net-zero buildings, the energy transition in districts and the supply of heating and cooling, thermal energy storage, and the EnEff.Gebäude.2050 funding initiative all under one roof. Alongside the ongoing calls for proposals and specialist portals, the Energiewendebauen research initiative also covers the Energiewendebauen research network.

Information for applicants

Researchers can continue to apply for ministry funding for their innovative project ideas. Project Management Jülich (PtJ) oversees the implementation of these projects on behalf of the BMWi.

Funding is allocated as part of a two-stage process. The team of researchers first submit an outline of their project idea via easy-Online, the Federal Government’s electronic form system. After a review, the BMWi selects proposals that it deems worthy of funding, for which formal applications can then be made.

Contact persons at PtJ are available to researchers throughout the entire process to provide them with advice on any technical or administrative issues. For all those applying for BMWi funding in the field of applied energy research for the first time, PtJ provides comprehensive information on submitting applications featuring all the important details on this procedure.