Funding subject 6: Renewable energy, energy conservation and energy efficiency

The energy transition is a major project that will involve all of German society with the goal of fully transitioning from fossil fuels and nuclear power to sustainable, climate-neutral energy sources and energy usage by 2050. Germany will only be able to achieve its climate goals through a combination of measures. These include:

  • the expansion of renewable energies, including the necessary distribution and storage infrastructure
  • improving energy efficiency and implementing energy saving measures
  • optimising the entire energy system in terms of the increasing use of fluctuating renewable energies, greater flexibility in terms of demand, and the coupling of the consumer sectors power, heat and mobility
  • consideration of environmental and social compatibility as well as aspects of participation and acceptance

We need innovative, exemplary ideas and interdisciplinary approaches from applied research, practical development and testing of technology, and communication and education on environmental topics that are aimed at specific target groups, keeping in mind digitisation, which affects all of these areas. The DBU supports projects that involve small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular.

Interested? Apply here! (in German)

In particular, the following measures are eligible:

  • Development, optimisation and exemplary (both in terms of its exemplary nature and ability to be used as a template) application of renewable energies; in the case of projects that involve the use of biomass as a source of energy, the funding is focussed on optimising existing systems and using residual waste products

  • Development, optimisation and exemplary applications of innovative technologies for efficient energy conversion and energy storage (e.g. for heating and cooling, Power-to-X)

  • Development, optimisation and exemplary adaptation of operational processes on the basis of new energy sources (e.g. sector coupling) and a fluctuating energy supply (e.g. through demand-side management); this also includes new operator and business models for cross-plant coupling of energy flows (e.g. waste heat)

  • Development, optimisation and exemplary application of innovative solutions for reducing energy consumption in manufacturing and handling processes in industrial applications, retail and the service industry; this also includes supply and interface technologies (e.g. steam, pressure, etc.) as well as operational logistics and transport processes, taking into account possible rebound effects

  • Development, optimisation and exemplary application of comprehensive, systematic aspects of data transmission (e.g. for decentralised energy supply, smart grids)

  • Energy-saving, low-emission development of drives in mobile applications

  • Development, optimisation and testing of new approaches to dissemination of information, transfer of knowledge and qualification as well as education and professional training, especially for children, young people, trainees and university students; this also includes new approaches to solutions, methods, and formats in the areas of participation, increasing acceptance and conflict resolution

  • Development of new concepts and technical solutions that are environmentally friendly and promote human health and nature conservation as well as the use of renewables


Take a look at the flyer for further information and exemplary DBU-funded projects.

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