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.

This research at the UFZ focuses on the following areas:

Bioenergy concepts and new biogas processes
Development of biotechnological processes for the production of materials and energy carriers
Assessment approaches for the material-energetic use of renewable resources
Spatial effects of renewable energy
Modelling of integrated land use systems
Environmental energy law
Governance approaches
Bio-artificial photosynthesis for hydrogen production
Geothermal energy

A list of experts on specific topics informs about contact people.

Energy system

Wind turbines and transmission Source: D. Wolst / UFZ

Research on economic, legal and social frameworks of the energy system.

IP T16 - Regional effects of the energy transformation


Cyanobacteria Source: A. Künzelmann / UFZ

Research on biotechnological fundamentals and their applications.

IP T15 - Sustainable biotechnology and the bioeconomy

Geosystem analysis

Modell visualisation Source: A. Künzelmann / UFZ

Research on subsurface modelling.