Helmholtz-Program: Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources (EMR)
Global bottlenecks are predictable - in the reliable supply of energy and the safe disposal and treatment of wastes, residues and emissions. Helmholtz energy researchers are looking for solutions to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Helmholtz scientists involved in the field of energy research are working to develop solutions to secure an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable supply of energy. They are examining all the relevant energy chains, including technological and socioeconomic conditions and impacts on the climate and environment. One important goal is to replace fossil and nuclear fuels with sustainable climate-neutral energy sources. Scientists are also seeking to determine the potential of renewables such as solar, biomass and geothermal energy. They are working to increase the efficiency of conventional power plants and energy use as a whole.
The research field "Energy" is divided into seven research programmes. All the programmes are implemented in interdisciplinary working groups and international collaborations. The association provides research infrastructure, resources for large-scale experiments, pilot facilities, test systems for large components, high-performance analysis systems and high-capacity computers.
The Helmholtz-program "Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources” 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.
A significant increase of efficiency in the provision and consumption of energy, resources, and materials, in combination with an unprecedented rise of the share of renewable energy, is of paramount importance to the successful transformation of energy supply in Germany. The reduction of primary energy consumption by 50 % and of greenhouse gas emissions by 80 % by the year 2050 can only be accomplished by a higher crosslinking and optimisation of process chains, with the topics of resources, material developments, process engineering, and energy transformation processes being considered a holistic system. At the same time, transformation of energy supply requires the development of extraordinary flexibility regarding fuels, power plant load, and the related infrastructure. This is due to the necessity of a demand-driven, competitive, and environmentally friendly energy provision for society and industry, which complements that from renewable sources.