Technologies for the transition to renewable energy

The status and prospects, potential for innovation and market potential
                                         – a multicriteria comparative technologies analysis and assessment


The aim of this research project is to provide a current overview of the level of development, the prospects and the possible research needs of various technologies from the energy supply sector. In essence, it shall ascertain which of the already-deployed technologies require further development in order to reach the energy transition targets, which supplementary and/or new technologies are needed and where any possible gaps in the development of technologies have emerged.

The content of the work is divided into three work packages:

  • WP 1 – Technology criteria: In WP 1, a criteria matrix will be developed which is geared to the goal of the research. The criteria from similar earlier research projects will be taken into account, updated from the current development prospects of the transition to renewables and added to.
  • WP 2 – Technologies: With the help of the criteria matrix, a comprehensive comparable multicriteria analysis of the technologies relevant to the transition to renewable energy will be conducted. The project ranks Germany’s level of innovation and development within an international context and deduces the associated industrial policy potential. The results will also be used to in order to compare the technologies with the goals of the transition to renewable energy and to systematically highlight innovation gaps.
  • WP3 – Promotion criteria: Lastly, a transparent multicriteria method will be developed which is manageable for decision-makers. This shall facilitate transparent decisions being made upon promising pilot and demonstration projects in the application-orientated research as well as model projects outside of this.

IZES shall manage WP2 and, together with the research partners, shall establish potential gaps in the technological development. The innovation gap analysis shall help ascertain those goals of the energy transition for which a sufficient degree of coverage can be expected from the use of the technologies currently in operation or in development as well as where gaps are likely to exist. These gaps shall be specified as far as possible and translated into specific development needs for future new or improved technologies which support the achieving of the goals of the transition to renewable energy. The transition to renewable energy in Germany forms the focus of the studies, with technology requirements and developments in a foreign context also being included.

This is a collaborative project with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (WI) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI). Ten further institutes are also involved in subtasks:

  • Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gGmbH (>> DBFZ)
  • German Aerospace Center (>> DLR)
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (>> FZJ)
  • Helmholtz Centre Potsdam -German Research Centre for Geosciences (>> GFZ)
  • Helmholtz Centre Berlin (>> HZB)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (>> ISE)
  • Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin gGmbH (>> ISFH)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (>> IWES)
  • Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (>> ZAE)
  • Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (>> ZSW)



  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (>> WI)
  • Fraunhofer Institue for Systems and Innovation Research (>> ISI)


The project is supported under the 6th Energy Research Programme of the Federal Government - Research for an environmentally-friendly, reliable and affordable energy supply, Federal Ministry for Economic Affaires and Energy (FKZ 03ET4036C).


08/2016 to 01/2018