Conversion of the state-owned energy research: plug pulled

Some of the funding projects have been completely cancelled. Energy researchers complain that such long-term planning is possible. Without research, the energ

Conversion of the state-owned energy research: plug pulled

Some of the funding projects have been completely cancelled. Energy researchers complain that such long-term planning is possible.

Without research, the energy transition is not flaps: experimental solar power Jülich photo: Hans Blossey/imago

BERLIN taz | In the federally-funded energy research is governed by the broom of iron. The Federal Ministry for economic Affairs and energy has reduced its program planning for the coming years. In the research division of the parts of the Copernicus projects in the science program for the energy transition have been deleted, even without substitution. The scientists feel caught off guard.

The cut came in November last year, in the so-called night of the long knives, such as the legendary "session Cleanup" of the Bundestag's budget Committee, also is referred to. The parliamentarians put the last touches to the Federal budget in 2020, and the financial planning for the years ahead. It came in the budget of the Minister of economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier (CDU) unexpectedly to major cuts in positions for energy research.

So were appropriations in the Etattitel 0903-68301 the obligation is the binding reservation of budget funds for energy research up to the year 2026 from 636 to 537 million euros to 99 million euros, reduced. Nomimell was moved this amount to the support of the "real laboratories" for experimental testing of energy innovations in the special title of the German energy and climate Fund outside the budget of the Federal Ministry of Economics and technology (BMWi) – but with significant consequences for the projects, as the researchers predict.

"It is to be feared that many of the 2020's planned research projects can not be implemented," says Niklas Martin, managing Director of the research Association Renewable energy (FVEE), the closed non-University energy researchers together. Martin criticized the course change behind the budgetary railyard. "Germany will adopt the planned massive downsizing of the energy research from the technology development for the global, the huge markets of the energy turnaround", the research Manager. In the medium term, the weakening of the energy research for medium-sized technology will lead to "maturity levels to a Tearing of the technology development chains." Real laboratories as places of applied research, this research and development could not replace the services nearly.

real laboratories could these research and development services do not replace

The funds would be needed in the BMWi mainly to Fund the new grant initiatives for artificial intelligence, or digitization, announced the Ministry of Etatänderung. But that's not the only reason, as the CDU's budget expert, Eckhardt Rehberg let. Compared to the daily mirror, which made the "turnaround in energy research policy" publication, referred to the Rehberg to the fact that there were over 4,000 on-going projects in no way too little on energy research. "The experience of the last few years have shown that the results disappear, only unfortunately much too often in the drawer", he described the Motivation of the Committee for the reduction. Instead of promoting "research for research's sake", are now implementing projects important to the climate policy CO2 reductions.

Volker Quaschning, an energy researcher at the University of technology and Economics in Berlin and co-founder of the Scientists-for-Future-Initiative, which is not turned to the side of the protesters pupils, considers that it is excluded that the reduction of funds for energy transformation-research projects "as well as a tit-for-tat of the CDU/CSU is on the actions of Scientists for the Future". Finally, it would not be "among the first signees at that time especially, many of the energy transition researchers*found inside," said Quaschning, compared to the taz newspaper: "this can be proved, of course, but after the research funding over many year were quite predictable, is this secret sense of change is quite striking."

The BMWi reiterated at the request of the taz, by contrast, that the "appropriations for energy research would be cut". Rather, the real would laboratories – previously the "implementation-oriented field of energy research programme" were – "from the budget in 2020 in the economic plan of the energy and Kimafonds (EKF)are reported in the" and received "a stand-alone, visible contribution to the energy and Climate change in Germany". The more academic area of traditional fields of research remain in the BMWi budget. "Overall research programme of the BMWi, the German Bundestag for the Energy by taking this step, not less, but more Federal funds available," the spokesperson for the Altmaier-Ministry.

FVEE-managing Director Martin maintains: "the Central Problem is the totally unexpected by 90 percent, reduced commitment appropriations for the year 2021, and the cuts in the years to come." With them, the promoters could be "no financial plans for the typically multi-year projects". This will bring planned projects into a Skid.

Even more dramatic is the cut that took place in the turn of the Year when the flagships of the energy research in the Federal Ministry of education and research (BMBF). Of the four-Copernicus-projects that are intended to accompany the energy transition, scientific, were only extended for three in their first ten years of operation. The sub-project ENavi on the other hand, the primarily investigated the social impacts, with a Budget of 30 million euros in the last three years, was, however, "the plug pulled".

Even at the beginning of last year, an Evaluation of the project had been initially positive; however, the overall evaluation was "failed due to the lack of social efficacy critical," said project Manager Ortwin Renn from the Potsdam Institute for sustainability research, the IASS compared to the taz. A New concept was requested by the BMBF, a new competition is in prospect, but was never started. "We were to hold until December, with many announcements that have not been implemented, and In view of continuation offered, realised then never", criticized racing. "The employees were exposed to a continuous interplay of hope and disappointment."

the end of The year he had to dismiss his ENavi-Team, among them employees of the civil society platform research turn, promotes new forms of Participation of society in research. "This has been life for me, one of the most bitter experience in my profession," says Renn. The reasons for the decision, the taz by the BMBF and received no answer.

Updated Date: 11 January 2020, 17:00

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