Energy supplies in the future: Federal President Steinmeier visits HI ERN in Erlangen

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Kurt Fuchs/ HIERN/ FAU

Informative tour with the diplomatic corps

A sustainable energy supply for the future: Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was given an overview of the varied and ambitious research being carried out on this central task for society during a visit to the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN). The Federal President visited Erlangen as part of an informative tour with the diplomatic corps. HI ERN is a part of Forschungszentrum Jülich in cooperation with Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB).

After the welcome speeches by Jülich Executive Director Prof. Astrid Lambrecht and FAU President Prof. Joachim Hornegger, the Federal President and his approximately 180 guests were taken on tours of laboratories and various stations of (research) partners from industry. Afterwards, the Federal President and some of the visitors were taken on hydrogen buses to the Erlangen hydrogen filling station, the world’s first commercial filling station to use Erlangen’s LOHC technology to store hydrogen using a liquid carrier. The other visitors toured the LOHC hydrogen storage container of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (IISB).

“If Bavaria stands for laptops and lederhosen, Franconia stands for turbines and tradition and for hydrogen and heritage. Above all, Franconia stands for the connection between science, business and cosmopolitanism, for a connection that we must strengthen if we want to do business in a climate-friendly way in the future,” emphasized the Federal President during the tour of the new institute building on FAU’s southern campus in Erlangen.

HI ERN was founded in 2013 and its directors are Prof. Peter Wasserscheid, Prof. Karl Mayrhofer and Prof. Christoph Brabec. The institute now has over 170 scientists who are conducting research into finding climate-friendly, sustainable and inexpensive ways of providing future generations with power.

The Institute predominantly focuses on research into how electrochemical energy conversion can be used to design innovative new technology based on hydrogen and solar power. Coupling electrolysis and fuel cells with procedures for chemical energy storage and producing reusable chemical materials is an exciting approach which promises new, economically highly attractive value chains. A second focus of research is on combining photovoltaics and hydrogen technology more closely. The use of artificial intelligence can help to develop better materials for photovoltaic systems.

About HI ERN