Energy Research and Energy Technology
Energizing the future
Germany's energy transition is accompanied by some enormous political and economic challenges, not to mention challenges in research and science.
- What is the best way to ensure an affordable and environment- friendly supply of energy for our society?
- Will electricity, natural gas, oil, and fuel still be affordable in the future?
- Will there be acceptance issues involved in the deployment of wind turbines and power lines?
- Will Germany remain an attractive place to do business despite rising energy costs?
The social implications of Germany's energy transition and the related energy issues are complex, diverse, and interdisciplinary. That is why the University of Bayreuth has developed the focus area Energy Research & Energy Technology. We are convinced that close cross-disciplinary collaboration is required to solve the energy problems of the future.
New paths in research and technology
First, engineers and researchers in the natural sciences are needed to analyse methods and processes for the production of energy and to find new materials for transforming, transporting, and storing energy. Research projects include developing new types of fuel cells, generating electricity from waste heat, building low-emission combustion engines and organic/ hybrid solar cells, and studying regenerative electricity and the production of fluid fuels from CO2, just to name a few examples.
Energy issues in a social context
Germany's energy transition has also raised some socio-political questions.
- For instance, can large-scale power plants be replaced by decentralized facilities, and can energy companies be replaced by communal or cooperative initiatives?
- What is the role of human behaviour in making energy use more efficient in the future?
- Can regulating power grids have a positive effect on competition in the energy sector?
Electricity generated by nuclear power has been quite affordable, while renewable energy will be expensive, at least in the beginning. This raises the question of social justice: Who will reap the profit and who will foot the bill?
Innovations based on scientific discourse
The wide variety of topics addressed by the focus area Energy Research & Energy Technology is being investigated by dedicated researchers from a broad range of disciplines. These include chemistry, physics, engineering, law, economics, geography, and the social sciences. The focus area is a unique and promising interdisciplinary constellation. After all, the goal is to find compelling and innovative energy solutions for the future.