Power Transmission on cornfield. Source: A. Künzelmann / UFZ

Energy research at the UFZ

The focus of our work at the UFZ is on researching the transformation processes of our entire economic system. These transformation processes are triggered by the ecological necessity to largely avoid using fossil fuels in the future. This is to be made possible through the use of renewable resources and efficient production and consumption systems. Since this change should occur while also safeguarding the ecological foundations of life, preservation of efficient ecosystems through reduction of land use and consumption pressures and design of multifunctional landscapes is essential. With this in mind, we are researching the complex changes in going towards a circular economy and sustainable energy supply.

However, complex interactions between the natural and social environments also give rise to obstacles, conflicts of objectives and new types of environmental risks. The implementation of transformation in such a framework is a challenge that can only be overcome through the interaction of innovative technologies, comprehensive understanding of their effects, and further development of policy options and regulatory instruments. Accordingly, three types of research contributions are required:

  • Technical innovations that enable a more environmentally sound energy supply and more energy-efficient production processes,
  • Analysis of options for integrated provision of renewable energy within concrete environmental and living conditions,
  • Development of regulatory and management approaches for reduction of energy use and sustainable energy provision based on renewable energy.

Renewable energies

Solarpark nördlich von Leipzig. Foto: André Künzelmann / UFZ Quelle: André Künzelmann / UFZ

Subproject 1: Integrating Renewable Energies and Resources in Energy Landscapes

Project webpage

Carbon Dioxid Removal

Windräder und konventionelles Kraftwerk im Hintergrund. Quelle: Stefan Ouwenbroek - Fotolia Quelle: Stefan Ouwenbroek - Fotolia

Subproject 2: Exploring Carbon Dioxid Removal (CDR) & Negative Emission Technologies in Transforming Energy Landscapes

Project webpage

Biotechnological processes

Versuchsaufbau der Arbeitsgruppe Elektrobiotechnologie II  im Labor Quelle: André Künzelmann / UFZ

Development of biotechnological processes of sustainable production of chemicals and energy sources

ElectroBiorefineries & Biosyntheses


Kultur und Zucht von Cyanobakterien in Petri-Schalen. Foto: André Künzelmann /UFZ Quelle: André Künzelmann / UFZ

Bioartificial photosynthesis for the production of hydrogen

Solar Materials Biotechnology 


Modellvisualisierung Quelle: A. Künzelmann / UFZ

Environmental geotechnologies contribute to the topic "Georesources – energy and raw materials for future societies " (Helmholtz Programme "Changing Earth - Sustaining our Future").

Environmental Geotechnics