Sustainable Development Goals

Contribution to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda was adopted by all member states at a United Nations summit in 2015. It creates the basis for shaping global economic progress that is in harmony with social justice and the Earth's ecological limits. At the heart of the 2030 Agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The development of solutions and decision-making bases for important societal challenges is an important task of science and research. With its research and development work, Fraunhofer ISE makes an important contribution to sustainable development and thus to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The focus here is on scientific and technological developments in development goal 7 "Affordable and clean energy". In addition, we have identified eight further development goals within our portfolio for which our work is relevant.

There are numerous interactions and links between the SDGs: Many goals can only be achieved if progress is also made on other goals. For example, there are numerous interactions between SDG 7 "Affordable and Clean Energy", SDG 2 "Hunger" and SDG 6 "Clean Water and Sanitation". Fraunhofer ISE research topics such as agrivoltaics or water treatment and material separation take these interactions into account.

On these pages, we provide an exemplary overview of how and in which areas Fraunhofer ISE is contributing to achieving the goals. This overview does not claim to be exhaustive, but it does illustrate how important and comprehensive the role of research and development work is in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Beitrag des Fraunhofer ISE zu den Sustainable Development Goals SDG
© Fraunhofer ISE
Beitrag des Fraunhofer ISE zu den Sustainable Development Goals SDG.

Fraunhofer ISE contributes to achieving the goals in SDG 2 with its research topic Agrivoltaics (Agri-PV).



Agri-PV describes a technology for the efficient dual use of agricultural land for food production with simultaneous PV power generation. Agri-PV thus increases land efficiency and enables PV output to be expanded while at the same time preserving fertile farmland for agriculture. As Agri-PV projects are predestined to be supported in a decentralized manner by farmers, municipalities and small and medium-sized enterprises, this also promotes value creation in the region and thus rural development.

Fraunhofer ISE's most comprehensive contribution to the SDGs lies in the scientific and technological developments in Development Goal 7 "Affordable and Clean Energy".

We conduct research for the energy transition and thus make an important contribution to a sustainable, economical, secure and socially just energy supply worldwide. Our goal for the future is an energy supply based exclusively on the use of renewable energies. We consistently pursue this approach in all our business areas: 

Photovoltaics: Materials, Cells and Modules

Photovoltaics:​ Production Technology and Transfer

Solar Power Plants and Integrated Photovoltaics

Power Electronics and Grids

Electrical Energy​ Storage

Climate-Neutral​ Heat and Buildings

Hydrogen​ Technologies​

System Integration

Fraunhofer ISE contributes to the achievement of SDG 9 as follows:

Sustainable PV Manufacturing in Europe

We develop the world's most advanced technologies, such as tandem solar cells, which surpass the efficiency of silicon solar cells. In doing so, we establish environmentally friendly production technologies and take aspects such as the circular economy and recycling into account. In this way, we support the European research industry in the production of high-quality, resource-conserving and sustainable solar modules.

In 2018, we launched the "10GWGreenFab" initiative, which is also supported by companies. This initiative led to the establishment of European alliances such as "Solar Europe Now" and "ESMC - European Solar Manufacturing Council". Together, we are calling on the European institutions to take greater account of the strategic value of photovoltaics in upcoming climate, research and innovation initiatives as well as sustainable finance initiatives.


More information on Sustainable PV Manufacturing in Europe - An Initiative for a 10GW GreenFab and the press release "The European Solar Value Chain Raises Concerns over Lack of Positive Signals for the Industry in the Green Deal"


Energy System Analysis

Renewable energies, especially photovoltaics and wind energy, have developed rapidly in recent years thanks to falling prices and are now contributing to far-reaching changes in the energy system. In order to balance out the fluctuations in electricity production, ways must be found to match generation and demand.

In the area of energy system analysis, we deal with techno-economic analyses for the restructuring of the energy system


More information on Energy System Analysis

Industrial processes and process heat

Most installed solar thermal systems are used for domestic hot water heating and solar space heating. However, the use of process heat from large-scale solar thermal systems is also becoming increasingly attractive for agriculture, trade and industry, especially as coupling with solar thermal electricity generation or solar cooling (polygeneration) can sometimes achieve better overall efficiency. A large proportion of the final energy for industrial processes could therefore be generated by solar power in the future.


 Ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration

Efficient ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technology makes a decisive contribution to the energy optimization of buildings and industrial processes. Our work focuses on component development in the refrigeration circuit, the use of natural refrigerants such as propane, the optimization of heat exchangers and energy-efficient ventilation concepts for residential and office buildings.


More information on Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration and efficient heat exchangers

Fraunhofer ISE contributes to achieving SDG 12 in the following ways, among others:

At the Institute, we develop and optimize resource-saving, energy-efficient and pollutant-free production processes, products and technologies - often together with our partners from industry. We consider both individual production phases and entire product life cycles.

The following topics provide an overview of Fraunhofer ISE's contribution to Goal 13.

The expansion of solar energy is essential in order to achieve the EU target of climate neutrality by 2050. With our research, we are creating the basis for the technical and economic feasibility of solar energy and climate-friendly technologies. We make this contribution across all of our business areas. Furthermore, by transferring research and development results to politics, business and society, we contribute to the discourse on the energy transition and create the conditions for political decisions and measures, economic implementation options and social acceptance.

The study "Paths to a Climate-Neutral Energy System - The German Energy Transition in its Social Context" provides an example of Fraunhofer ISE's contribution to achieving the goals of SDG 13. 

Fraunhofer ISE pursues the objectives of SGD 7 in its work on these topics:

Global Cooperation and Networking

In over 700 ongoing projects, we are working together with leading partners (including around 400 revenue partners) from research, business and industry on an international level to jointly contribute to sustainable energy generation and supply worldwide. This collaboration ranges from cooperation with local research institutions to the implementation of international projects and the establishment of new working groups and research facilities.