Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Paths to a Climate-Neutral Energy System

The German Energy Transition in its Social Context
Study from Fraunhofer ISE | February 2020

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PV Research and Production in Europe

The coalition ‘Solar Europe Now’ is calling for the recognition of solar energy as a key driver to deliver on the European Green Deal ambitions.

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Integrated Photovoltaics – Areas for the Energy Transformation

Integrating PV technology into building envelopes, vehicles and roads, as well as over agricultural fields and floating on water surfaces, capitalizes on surface areas with a tremendous potential for generating solar power.

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Digitalization: The Enabler and Driver of the Energy Transition

In the future energy system, digitalization is key for decentralization and flexibility as well as achieving energy and resource efficiency.

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Photovoltaics is a central pillar of the future energy supply from both an economical and ecological point of view.

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Energy Efficient Buildings

Energy efficiency in buildings plays a central role in climate protection. Currently the building sector in Germany is responsible for over 40% of the final energy demand.

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Solar Thermal Power Plants and Industrial Processes

Already today, concentrating solar thermal power plants (CSP) coupled with large thermal storage units provide dispatchable renewable electricity. Such systems show great potential for industrial systems, increasing efficiency and allowing more flexibility in the energy flows.

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Hydrogen Technologies and Electrical Energy Storage

Our R&D services address the generation, conversion and further thermo-chemical processing of hydrogen. In electrical energy storage, we offer R&D along the entire value chain: from materials, through the cell and module up to the complete battery system.

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Power Electronics, Grids and Smart Systems

We are working to optimize the interplay between efficient renewable energy generation, the security of supply, energy storage and stable grid operation.

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Dear customers, project partners, sponsors and friends,

The COVID-19 pandemic presents us with great challenges and requires all of us to act responsibly.
Our overriding priority is protecting the health of our employees and society in general. Therefore, we strictly adhere to the official regulations set down on the city, state and federal levels and the guidelines of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. In addition, we are implementing measures specific to Fraunhofer ISE.
Taking these requirements into account, Fraunhofer ISE will remain at your service: We continue to work on your projects, do research and development in our laboratories and provide the services you are used to. At present, some of our employees are alternately working at the institute or in the home office. This change of location varies from day to day. However, thanks to modern digital tools, we are able to ensure our continued cooperation. The best way to therefore get in touch with your contact person is by e-mail. Should you still have difficulties contacting us, please call our central number: +49 761 4588-0.

We wish you, your relatives and employees continued good health!

Warm regards,

Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning
Prof. Dr. Andreas Bett

Institute Directors Fraunhofer ISE

R&D for Energy Transition

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE creates the technological foundations for supplying energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialized, threshold and developing countries. With its research focusing on energy conversion, energy efficiency, energy distribution and energy storage, it contributes to the broad application of new technology.

Fraunhofer ISE develops materials, components, systems and processes in five business areas. In addition to its R&D, the institute offers testing and certification procedures. Furthermore, it features an excellent laboratory infrastructure and is certified according to the quality management standard, DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. Founded in 1981, Fraunhofer ISE, with a staff of over 1200, is the largest solar research institute in Europe.

Current Press Releases


Press Release #18 / 23.7.2020

Silicon Carbide Transistors Improve Efficiency in Home Storage Systems

In the HyBaG project, Fraunhofer ISE in collaboration with Kaco New Energy and STS - Spezial-Transformatoren Stockach has developed a low-loss hybrid inverter which functions efficiently even at partial load. 


Press Release #17 / 16.7.2020

Fraunhofer ISE Develops with Partners a Novel High-Throughput System for Functional Printing

Unprecedented precision and speed are the outstanding features of a novel high-throughput system for the metallization of silicon solar cells and other functional printing applications. The system is able to realize high-precision coating processes using rotary screen printing and flexographic printing with a throughput corresponding up to 8000 components per hour on an industrial scale. 


Press Release #16 / 5.5.2020

German Net Electricity Generation in First Half of 2020: Renewables Reach Record Share of 55.8 Percent

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE just presented the data on the net electricity generation for the public power supply for the first half of 2020, based on data available on the Energy Charts platform. 


Press Release #13 / 2.6.2020

From Green Deal to Green Recovery: An Initiative of the European Solar Thermal Industry

In light of the current discussion on the Green Deal launched as a strategic priority by the European Commission, a joint statement has been co-signed by 176 companies, R&D entities, and associations across Europe.

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News and Events


Trade Fairs, Conferences and Workshops


Fraunhofer ISE: Climate Protection Targets in Energy Supply achievable

The study »Paths to a Climate- Neutral Energy System - The German Energy Transition in its Social Context « by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE examines development paths of the German energy system that lead to a reduction of energy-related CO₂ emissions between 95 and 100 percent by 2050. Achieving these climate protection goals in energy supply based on renewable energy sources is feasible from a technical and systemic point of view. However, social behavior is proving to be a decisive factor in the path the energy transition is taking and in the costs of system conversion.
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37th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit from July 28 to 30

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) represent a multibillion-dollar industry. Many of the recent research efforts to improve lithium-ion batteries have focused on developing anode, cathode, or electrolyte materials that can hold more charge in a given volume and lead to higher energy densities. The International Battery Seminar & Exhibit conference from July 28-30 will focus on the development and commercialization of lithium-ion batteries, applications and safety issues.
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Three Student Awards for Fraunhofer ISE at the 47th IEEE PVSC

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE won three student awards at the 47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (IEEE PVSC). Yet another award was given to a highly efficient solar cell. This year, the world's oldest photovoltaic conference will be held in virtual form from June 15 to August 21.
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Christopher Hebling from Fraunhofer ISE Appointed as Expert to IEA Committee

Prof. Christopher Hebling, Division Director of Hydrogen Technologies at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, has been nominated as an expert to represent Germany on the Executive Committee of the Technology Collaboration Program for Research and Development on the Production and Utilization of Hydrogen of the International Energy Agency IEA, effective July 1, 2020. Dr. Erik Busche from Project Management Jülich has also been appointed as a delegate to the committee.
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New Articles on Innovation4E:


A More Sustainable Economy Needs a Strong Solar Industry

In recent months, the current crisis centered on the corona virus has diverted attention from the more long-term climate crisis. But then the demand came from all over Europe to use government economic stimulus packages specifically to support more sustainable economic sectors. Many people demand a “Green Recovery”, including us at Fraunhofer ISE for the [...]
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Paths to a Climate Neutral Energy System – The “No Nothing New” Scenario

To completely restructure an energy system, we as private individuals also have a role to play. That’s why we examined in one of the study’s scenarios the consequences of society’s unwillingness to switch to new electrical technologies. What needs to happen by 2050 to reduce our CO2 emissions from transport, electricity, process and building heating [...]
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Paths to a Climate-Neutral Energy System – the “counter-large-infrastructure scenario”

One of the scenarios in our study assumes that there will be massive resistance to the expansion of new infrastructures in the energy sector. What needs to happen by 2050 to reduce our CO2 emissions from transport, electricity, processing and building heating by at least 95%? The study “Ways to a Climate-Neutral Energy System” by [...]
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Paths to a Climate-Neutral Energy System – the “We-save-more” Scenario

This scenario assumes that enough of us become so aware of climate change and the need for a climate-neutral energy system that we are prepared live more economically. What needs to happen by 2050 to reduce our CO2 emissions from transport, electricity, process and building heating by at least 95%? The study “Ways to a [...]
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Scientific Blog of Fraunhofer ISE


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