Energy research has a special role to play in the transformation.
North Rhine-Westphalia can only achieve its climate goals with innovation and progress in all areas of the energy supply system. The prerequisite for this is excellent technological and socio-economic research and accelerated transfer to application. This is where energy research comes into play.
Energy research is an important instrument for making North Rhine-Westphalia a modern and climate-friendly economic location. This is because many technological and social innovations and business models for the energy system of the future have not yet been sufficiently researched or are not yet ready for widespread use. To ensure that the transformation of our energy supply system succeeds, NRW.Energy4Climate strengthens and supports innovative projects between science, business and society, initiates collaboration and organises rapid transfer to application. Research topics and innovative ideas for this can also be found in Düsseldorf, Berlin and Brussels.
North Rhine-Westphalia is already one of the world’s strongest locations for energy research. More than 30 renowned universities and 20 excellent non-university research institutions are conducting research on the central topics of the energy system of the future. Additionally, numerous companies are also investing in research to maintain their economic success. From 2014 to 2020 alone, North Rhine-Westphalian energy research projects received more than 226 million euros in funding from the federal state and the European Union.
The strengths of energy research include solar research, storage technology development, smart grids and transformation research. Examples of outstanding research in North Rhine-Westphalia are:
Other future technologies that will increasingly be the focus of energy research in the future are, in particular, the use of hydrogen and synthetic fuels and raw materials as well as new processes for the carbon cycle. The industrial sector especially needs new technological developments and innovations to make its products and production processes climate neutral.
In addition to technological research, socio-economic research is also exceedingly important. Starting in 2013, various research institutions from North Rhine-Westphalia joined forces to form the Virtual Institute Transformation – Energy Transition NRW, which researches the socio-economic and cultural impacts of the energy transition in North Rhine-Westphalia.
NRW.Energy4Climate wants to contribute to making energy research even more interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and focused on application and to integrating it into social discourse. To do this, the state agency cooperates closely with the EnergyResearchOffensive.NRW. The aim of this initiative is to quickly put promising research results into practice and to promote innovative technologies, processes and products that serve as role models. For this purpose NRW.Energy4Climate will support companies to initiate projects, promote future technologies and conduct innovation workshops, as well as help communicate the results to the general public.