Power-To-X: Entering the Energy Transition with Kopernikus

05/04/2016

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Johanna Wanka, federal minister of education and research, BMBF, announced the four "Kopernikus Projects for Energy Transition" to receive funding. One of the projects selected is Power-To-X, whch is coordinated by RWTH Aachen, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and DECHEMA. The major project focuses on the storage of excess power into other energy carriers. It will be funded with 30 million Euros by the BMBF during the first of three development phases.

 

"We are thrilled to tackle the challenges of the energy transition and to especially explore related possibilities together with Forschungszentrum Jülich, DECHEMA, and many partners in science and industry," commented Ernst Schmachtenberg, rector of RWTH Aachen, happily: "Power-To-X will make an important contribution to the successful inclusion of renewable energies into the value-added chain of materials. The consortium is well equipped to research these concepts and implement them."

The aim of the Kopernikus projects is to develop technologies in the next ten years that advance the reconstruction of the energy system in important sectors.

Power-To-X identifies technologies that transform power from renewable resources into material energy storage, energy carriers, and energy-intensive chemical products. Energy from renewable sources can then be used in the shape of tailor-made fuels for vehicles or in improved plastics and chemical products with greater added value. Within the framework of the federal government's Kopernikus program a national research platform is now being built for this complex topic area with the selected Power-To-X, P2X, project.

With Power-To-X technologies power will first be electrochemically transformed from renewable sources into materials resources such as hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and synthesis gas. These material resources must then be efficiently stored, distributed, and then transformed into end products. To accomplish this, innovative solutions are needed, which will be developed into ecologically, economically, and socially advantageous processes within the project. In doing so, Power-To-X contributes to the aim of decarbonizing the energy system, which the federal government is striving for through the energy transition. The project also simultaneously decreases the percentage of fossil resources in the important leading markets of transport, commerce, and chemistry.

A total of 17 research institutions, 26 companies in industry, and three civil society organizations are involved in the P2X project.

New technological developments are expected to achieve industrial maturity within ten years. During the first funding period focus is on research work on the entire value-added chain from electrical energy to material energy carriers and products. Existing large projects and infrastructures will be included and the points of intersection with industry will be expanded. In addition to the BMBF funding, industry partners in P2X will contribute research performance amounting to 8.3 million Euros.

RWTH Aachen and Forschungszentrum Jülich already intensively collaborate in this field within the JARA Energy section of the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance. They are coordinating the project together with DECHEMA, the Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.

The four Kopernikus projects, which were selected from among 41 proposals, encompass a total of 230 partners, who will technically and socially bring energy transition to the next stage of development in the coming years. Each program is dedicated to one of the central cornerstones of the energy transition: aside from the storage and use of renewable energies through transformation into materials products in Power-To-X, this includes the further development of power grids, reorienting industry processes towards a fluctuating energy supply, and improved interaction among all sectors in the energy system. The BMBF is providing up to 120 million Euros for the first funding phase till 2018. An additional 280 million Euros are to be provided by 2025.

RWTH Aachen

A core partner in the recently granted Power-To-X project, RWTH Aachen and its 260 institutes in nine faculties is one of the leading European science and research institutions. The work at RWTH Aachen's research centers is strongly oriented towards industry's current demands. This leads to numerous innovations, patents, and licenses. While RWTH Aachen's comptetence centers vary greatly in their disciplines and specializations, they also accomplish effective transdisciplinary and trans-faculty collaboration in interdisciplinary networks and forums.

RWTH is also a core partner of the Kopernikus project "ENSURE – Neue Energienetzstrukturen für die Energiewende“ or "New Power Grid Structures for the Energy Transition."

Additional Information From the BMBF

Press Release (de)

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RWTH Aachen
Professor Walter Leitner
Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry
Phone: +49 241 80 26480
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Forschungszentrum Jülich
Professor Rüdiger A. Eichel
Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Fundamental Electrochemistry, IEK-9
Phone: +49 2461 614644
Email:

DECHEMA
Professor Kurt Wagemann
Phone: +49 69 7564 205
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Contact Information for the Press

Annette Stettien
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Phone: +49 2461 612388
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Renate Kinny
RWTH Aachen
Phone: +49 241 80 94326
Email:

Dr. Kathrin Rübberdt
DECHEMA
Phone: +49 69 7564 277
Email:

Source: Press and Communications