news / 2014-10-24
COORETEC celebrates 10 years of power plant research
In October, the COORETEC research initiative organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy celebrated its tenth anniversary in Berlin. In recent years, around 500 research projects have been initiated and funded with more than 500 million euros invested by both the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and the industry. During the two-day anniversary symposium, players from research institutions, industry and politics reviewed the successful partnership and presented their goals for the future.
To begin, Professor Dr Alfons Kather, spokesman for the COORETEC Advisory Council, welcomed the nearly 150 visitors and outlined the dynamic change in power plant research. Ten years ago, the focus was solely on increasing the efficiency of conventional power plants. Although efficiency also plays an important role in the current projects, the dynamic energy market means that the focus is now on achieving flexibility in current developments. This is because it is only with increased flexibility that it will be possible to balance out the fluctuating output of renewable energy and provide the missing power reliably and permanently. Another focus of current research objectives is on achieving good efficiencies in partial load operation and reliable behaviour with frequent load changes. “We can only achieve the CO2 emission values in conjunction with renewable energies. However, the renewables will not succeed alone – they need the support of conventional energy sources,” said Professor Kather.
Iris Gleicke, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, praised the successful work of COORETEC. “Power plant technology from Germany leads the world, and the COORETEC research projects have contributed to this,” said the State Secretary in her speech and added: “Power plant technology continues to play an important role during the course of the energy turnaround, as conventional power plants will make a significant contribution to securing supplies for the foreseeable future. However, the operating conditions for these power plants will considerably change. In future we will require rapidly controllable power plants that can precisely balance out fluctuations in the electricity generation from renewable energy sources.” The technologies developed in Germany are not only used for optimising local power plants but are also in demand worldwide. All present were well aware, however, that the energy research in the coming years can only be successfully conducted in harness with renewable energies.