Press Release


    How the Building Sector Can Achieve Its Climate Targets After All

    May 11, 2021

    With the currently adopted climate protection measures, Germany will neither achieve its previous, nor the more stringent European, climate protection targets in the building sector by 2050. Two roadmaps from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the Öko-Institute and the Hamburg Institute show how this achievement, however, can be made possible. The research team presents the adequate measures and policy instruments with which decentralized heat generation no longer emits carbon dioxide, final energy consumption can be reduced, and heat grids can be expanded. The analyses and the roadmaps underline the great urgency with which policymakers must act: Most of the instruments should be introduced and implemented before 2025. The research results, including the detailed analysis and roadmaps, are presented in the study "The Systemic Challenge of the Heat Transition" which was commissioned by the German Federal Environment Agency.

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  • Fraunhofer IKTS / Major research center for water, energy and food proposed for Lusatia / 2021

    Future factory Lusatia: answers to the global resource hunger

    May 10, 2021

    A strong alliance of Saxon scientific institutions, with numerous supporters from business and the region, wants to find groundbreaking solutions to challenges that are on the global agenda and are also particularly visible in the Saxon coal-mining region in the new “Future Factory Lusatia”. The project partners are proposing a large-scale research center to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), in which interdisciplinary teams will combine modern technologies and circular economy principles on a realistic scale to drastically reduce the consumption of water, energy and usable land.

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  • Fraunhofer UMSICHT / Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize 2021 / 2021

    Redox flow batteries: A step toward the mass market

    May 05, 2021

    Redox flow batteries are perfect for storing large quantities of renewable energy, but they have always been too expensive for the mass market. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT have now completely redesigned the heart of a redox flow battery — the stack — and have brought about a massive reduction in material usage and costs. Their efforts have earned them the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize.

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  • A sustainable society with climate-neutral processes requires significant adjustments in the value chains, which are only possible through innovations. Seven Fraunhofer Institutes are pooling their expertise in the lighthouse project "Waste4Future" to develop new solutions for this goal, from the raw material base to material flows and process engineering right to the end of a product's life cycle. In particular, they want to increase energy and resource efficiency in the use of plastics and thus pave the way for a chemical industry that requires fewer fossil raw materials and produces fewer emissions.

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  • Fraunhofer ISE has been developing photovoltaic technologies, since it was founded forty years ago. Over this period, the institute’s research has contributed significantly to the establishment of solar electricity today as the most cost-effective form of energy supply worldwide. In order to maintain and strengthen its global leadership position in solar energy research, Fraunhofer ISE has now gained a new laboratory building, which was funded in equal parts by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF and the State of Baden-Württemberg. The new Center for High Efficiency Solar Cells was officially opened on April 27, 2021 in a virtual ceremony.

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  • III-V//Silicium Tandemsolarzelle
    © Fraunhofer ISE/ Foto: Michael Schachtner

    Fraunhofer ISE has been conducting cutting-edge research in photovoltaics for forty years. Continually the institute has brought forth record cell efficiencies in different material classes and made important contributions in reducing the costs of solar electricity, which is the cheapest form of energy generation today. Photovoltaics, along with wind energy, is the central pillar of the energy transition. Aiming to further reduce the area required for PV installations as well as material use, Fraunhofer ISE is focusing on tandem photovoltaics. This cell technology allows the traditional efficiency limits to be exceeded by selectively combining different solar cell materials. The Freiburg researchers have again succeeded in setting a new world record with a monolithic tandem cell made of III-V and silicon semiconductors.

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  • Next to wind energy, photovoltaics is the main pillar of the energy transition. While Germany and Europe in general are still leading when it comes to the research and development of solar cells and modules, the last ten years have seen the transfer of production to Asia. As a consequence, Europe risked losing its technological sovereignty and independence. This trend is starting to be reversed though. One reason is that the share of transport costs in the price of imported modules has increased, another that buyers are placing more value on sustainable production criteria than they did just a few years ago. Regional production has become affordable.

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  • © Sandia

    More data, more collaboration, more opportunities for photovoltaics: A new platform for investigating the performance and reliability of solar systems in different environments and climate zones worldwide will provide an important basis for an even broader and more efficient use of solar energy. The Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaic CSP in Halle (Saale) is among the founding members of the recently launched PV CAMPER platform.

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  • TOPCoRE Solarzelle
    © Fraunhofer ISE

    A team of researchers led by Dr. Armin Richter of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE achieved a record conversion efficiency of 26.0 percent for both-sides contacted silicon solar cells. In the recently published Nature Energy article "Design Rules for High-Efficiency Both-Sides-Contacted Silicon Solar Cell with Balanced Charge Carrier Transport and Recombination Losses" Download [], Richter explains the structure of the record-breaking cell and presents fundamental design-related aspects leading to even higher efficiencies. The design of the back-side cell surface as a full-area charge-carrier collecting passivating contact was key to the success.

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  • Fraunhofer UMSICHT / From basic research to industrial application / 2021

    Why marketable concepts of catalysts, electrodes and cells are still in short supply – and what needs to change

    April 14, 2021

    © Fraunhofer UMSICHT/Kevinjeorjios Pellumbi

    They can be used to produce green hydrogen and convert carbon dioxide into feedstocks for the chemical industry. Electrolysis technologies have increasingly come into focus in the context of climate protection, energy and raw material change. The result: a plethora of catalyst candidates, almost none of which, however, has yet reached the stage of applicability. Marketable concepts for electrodes and cells are also still in short supply. Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institutes UMSICHT, ISE and ICT, the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Ruhr University Bochum, the Center for Fuel Cell Technology (ZBT) and the Danish company IRD Fuel Cells have investigated the reasons for this and what needs to change for electrolysis to become an industrial application. They have published their findings under the title "Crossing the Valley of Death: From Fundamental to Applied Research in Electrolysis" in the "Journal of American Chemistry Au".

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