Research partnership for the production and supply of sustainable energy

January 16, 2013 // By Julien Happich
Fraunhofer and The University of British Columbia UBC in Vancouver, Canada signed a framework agreement, giving the green light for a collaboration spanning several years to jointly develop technologies for sustainable energy production and supply.

The transition from fossil fuels to sustainable and regenerative energy concepts is a challenge that sooner or later all industrial nations will be facing. Mastering this difficult task will require new technologies. Currently the green-energy industries in both Germany and Canada have a globally recognised leadership role. The new alliance between Fraunhofer and the The University of British Columbia UBC will contribute to maintaining and enhancing this role.

“The cooperation with the UBC will support us in one of our key topics” states Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. “Sources of energy in the 21st century will change, and this brings up many questions we have to solve. With the UBC we have found an excellent international partner for energy research”. Project Leader Dr. Christopher Hebling, head of the division Energy Technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, is excited: “Just like Fraunhofer, UBC recognizes the importance of environmental technologies for the future. Not only do both partners undertake excellent research in this field, but they also stand out due to their common strategy for cooperation with the industry. This alliance will strengthen and expand the leading position of the UBC and Fraunhofer in this market.”

Fraunhofer Institutes for Environmental Safety and Energy Technology, UMSICHT in Oberhausen, and Machine Tools and Forming Technology, IWU in Chemnitz, complement the expertise of Fraunhofer ISE in the research collaboration with UBC. Direct research partner for Fraunhofer will be UBC's Clean Energy Research Centre, CERC. Total funding of 4 million euros has been secured within Fraunhofer and UBC to support this unique partnership.

It has been demonstrated that using the surplus electricity from wind or solar power plants to generate hydrogen is a possible option for energy storage. In recognition of hydrogen’s increasing importance as a universal and renewable energy source for the storage of electricity as well as for emission-free mobility, the partners will examine the development of innovative