news / 2013-01-14

"Future-oriented electricity grids" funding initiative: A new impetus for researching the grids

The “Future-oriented electricity grids” funding initiative provides 150 million euros to support research into electricity grids.
The “Future-oriented electricity grids” funding initiative provides 150 million euros to support research into electricity grids. Bild: REK, Pixelio

The “Future-oriented electricity grids” funding initiative gives new impetus for research in Germany. As part of the scheme, technologies and concepts for extending the grid infrastructure are being investigated. Three federal government ministers today gave the starting signal for the funding initiative. Researchers are invited to submit their project plans by 27 March 2013.

The “Future-oriented electricity grids” funding initiative is a further step on the road to the energy revolution. Its aim is to extend the electricity grid infrastructure. The aim is to modify transmission networks and distribution grids so that they are able to cope with the feeding of substantial shares of renewable energies. In order to achieve this, the federal government is supporting research into technologies and concepts. The funding initiative is being promoted by three federal ministries. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry for Education and Research are involved. The “Future-oriented electricity grids” funding initiative focuses on:

  • intelligent distribution grids,
  • transmission networks,
  • offshore connections and interfaces.

In the energy sector, technologies, system interactions and social implications are becoming increasingly complex. For this reason, close interlinking of research projects, from the basic principles through to application, initial testing and the market launch, is becoming more important.

The initiative is aimed at research and development projects which stand out for their high level of scientific and technological risk. Basic research projects will be funded, as well as application-oriented research and development, including demonstration models. The greatest possible involvement from the industry is desirable for joint projects, in particular by small and medium-sized businesses.
Universities, non-university research institutions and commercial companies with their official base and realisation opportunities in Germany are eligible to apply. An equity ratio of at least half the project-related costs eligible for funding is required on the part of commercial companies. Universities, as well as research and scientific institutions can be awarded up to 100 per cent of the project-related costs eligible for funding.

Project plans for “Future-oriented electricity grids” from March

The funding initiative is being implemented by the Project Management Jülich. The application procedure consists of two stages: the project outline proposal and the formal funding application. In the first stage, applicants can submit outline proposals to the Project Management Jülich by 27 March 2013. The proposals must be submitted electronically via the internet portal (in German only). Further information is available in the German Federal Gazette (in German only). The cross-ministry “Energy research” coordination platform will coordinate applications with other federal government programmes (in German only). The funding initiative is part of the 6th Energy Research Programme.