Technologies for the Energy Transition ("Energiewende"): Status and Perspectives, Innovation and Market Potential - a Comparative Multi-criteria Technology Analysis and Assessment

  • Project no.150552
  • Duration 08/2016 - 04/2018

The research project "TF_Energiewende" provides an overview on current and future key technologies, which according to current knowledge, are needed for the implementation of the goals of the energy transition (German Energiewende). Two consortium partners (IZES and Fraunhofer ISI) and 10 technology partners under the leadership of the Wuppertal Institute described the development status and perspectives of the technologies and identified the need for publicly funded research and development (R&D).

The project was financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the key strategic project "Trends and Perspectives in Energy Research". The results serve as central scientific contribution to the discussion of the 7th Energy Research Programme (EFP) of the Federal Government. The new EFP is to be adopted in the second half of the year 2018, taking into account the ambitious goals of the German Energiewende, particularly against the background of the Paris Agreement. This requires an update and systematic reassessment of the development status and perspectives of the different technologies that can potentially contribute to the energy transition. Compared to earlier analyses, this process needs to take into account the increased complexity of the energy system characterised by a multitude of interdependencies as well as diverse socio-political objectives (e.g. climate and resource protection, public acceptance, export potential or employment impulses).
The project TF_Energiewende analysed a total of 31 fields of technology from the energy sector, which were allocated to the following 7 areas of technology:

  • Renewable energies
  • Conventional power plants
  • Infrastructure
  • Technologies for sector coupling (Power-to-X, P2X)
  • Energy and resource efficient buildings
  • Energy and resource efficiency in the industry
  • Integrative aspects

The analysis of the different technologies and the evaluation of R&D requirements was based on a multi-criteria assessment. Each field of technology was assessed using 12 evaluation criteria ("set of criteria"), which focus on the contribution to climate and industrial policy goals, the positioning of German companies in an international context as well as system compatibility. Aspects of societal acceptance and the state of R&D in an international context were also taken into account. The systematic criteria-based approach assures that a decision on the funding of R&D projects can be made in line with overarching objectives of (energy) policy.

In addition to the evaluation of technologies, TF_Energiewende also developed a transparent and manageable multi-criteria approach to enable clear decisions on the funding of promising demonstration and model projects in application-oriented research. For funding bodies, this method provides guidance for individual decisions which are usually required in this context.

The project further reflects the technologies that are available today or under development in the context of the energy transitions' goals in order to systematically identify possible innovation gaps. These gaps need to be closed in the long term through appropriate efforts.

In addition to the three consortium partners Wuppertal Institute, Fraunhofer ISI and IZES, the project has been supported by the following ten subcontractors which contributed to the technology evaluation:

  • DBFZ - Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gGmbH
  • DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
  • FZJ - Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
  • GFZ - Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum
  • HZB - Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH
  • ISE - Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme
  • ISFH - Institut für Solarenergieforschung Hameln gGmbH
  • IWES - Fraunhofer-Institut für Windenergie und Energiesystemtechnik
  • ZAE - Bayerisches Zentrum für Angewandte Energieforschung e.V.
  • ZSW - Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden Württemberg

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