A new investment initiative will help to drive German smart grid research and development
The funding initiative launched by the Ministries of Economics (BMWi), Environment (BMU) and Education and Research (BMBF) will help to support Germany’s Energy Transition programme (`Energiewende`) forward with
€150 million of new investment.
The funding forms an important and integral part of the country’s 6th energy research program and Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) will be attending the DistribuTECH Conference in San Diego, USA, January 29th to 31st in order to help highlight the opportunities available.
The big challenge beyond funding is to create a power grid that is able to distribute energy more accurately according to demand. This will be achieved through the use of information and communication technology (ICT). A previous initiative, `E-Energy – Smart Energy Made in Germany`, presented at a conference in Berlin underlined the importance of ICT in driving the ‘Energiewende’ forward.
“The share of energy supply from renewable sources continues to grow,” said Heiko Staubitz of Germany Trade & Invest. “So as to keep these grids operating smoothly, the implementation of ICT during the expansion of renewable energy’s share is paramount.”
Six pilot projects involving different key technologies and business models for an ‘Energy Internet’ were tested with varying degrees of success but it was discovered that the savings potential of smart grids could lead to a 10% saving on household energy bills with as much as 20% in industrialized areas.