Germany Boosts Energy Research Funding 77% to $938 Million

Germany increased spending on energy research 77 percent in the past seven years, benefiting mainly renewable-power and efficiency projects as the country shuts nuclear reactors.

The government spent 708 million euros ($938 million) on research and development of energy technologies last year, up from 399 million euros in 2006, the Economy Ministry said today in an e-mailed statement, citing a new study. Projects included reducing noise from offshore wind power, making buildings more energy-efficient and producing electro-chemical storage units.

“Research and development of modern energy technologies are an important condition for the success of the energy switch,” Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said in the statement. Renewable and efficiency projects accounted for about 500 million euros of the funding last year, the ministry said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is attempting to lead the biggest transition to renewables of any developed country in history, seeking to more than triple the share of renewable power by 2050 to 80 percent of consumption. The clean-energy plants will help replace nuclear reactors, all of which are due to close by 2022.

Germany spent 133 million euros on research into nuclear fusion and 75 million euros on safety linked to its atomic reactors and the disposal of nuclear waste, the study shows.

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