Building on its already existing EU-wide and global cooperation network, e.g. European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA), German Development Agency (GIZ) both in South Africa and India, Sichuan University in China, La Serena University in Chile and others, EFZN has been a founding member of the Joint Program "Energy System Integration "(JP ESI) of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). It acts as umbrella organization, representing its member universities. By joining the EERA JP ESI and other international bodies, the EFZN is pursues the goal to raise the profile of Lower Saxony’s energy research and to act more effectively on the international scene.

We focus our strategy on the following topics:

1. Energy projects with partners from EERA JP ESI in the EU funding program Horizon 2020 and other EU programs

2. Energy projects in the North Sea area with partners from the ENSEA network

3. Energy projects with partner regions of Lower Saxony worldwide

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA)

EERA is an alliance of European public research centres and universities. It is one of the cornerstones of the European Integrated Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan).

EERA brings together around 250 research centres and universities across 30 countries. Actively working together in currently 16 joint research programmes (JPs), they build on national research initiatives and work on shared priorities and research projects.

EFZN is a founding member of the EERA Joint Programme in Energy Systems Integration (JP ESI). This Joint Programme in Energy Systems Integration seeks to bring together research strengths across Europe to optimally integrate our energy systems at all levels. It is fully aligned with the SET Plan Integrated Roadmap.

The European University Association (EUA)

The EUA represents more than 800 universities and national rectors’ conferences in 48 European countries. EUA works closely with members and partners active in energy and environment research, education and innovation. The Association’s goal is to facilitate the full participation of European universities in energy- and environment-related EU programmes and to support the realisation of the Energy Union and a sustainable energy future for Europe.

The Association conducts this work primarily through the European Platform of Universities in Energy Research & Education (EUA-EPUE) where it connects members and partners active in the field. These efforts are linked to EUA’s work in promoting the role of universities in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Association’s role in shaping EU research and innovation programmes.

European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA)

The European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA) developed a network that brought together energy know-how and aligned research programs through better coordination and exploitation of research. To achieve the European Union’s “20-20-20″ climate and energy goals as well as sustainable growth, the European energy system has to change rapidly to accommodate more renewable energy.

Because power output from renewables can be highly variable, successfully operating such a system needs a combination of more energy storage, flexible thermal generation, increased interconnection between neighbouring power networks and demand-side management. ENSEA proposed a holistic focus on the energy system generating innovative solutions to meet the challenges and market needs of a resource efficient Europe. Successful exploitation of these innovations provides new business opportunities and boosts the competitiveness of regions and the wider European economy.

ENSEA started on 1st of October 2012 and ended on 30th September 2015. The project was supported by the European Commission under the European FP7 programme Capacities with a funding of nearly three million euros under the “Regions of knowledge” programme. The main strands within this project are to promote cooperation between public, private and academic sectors and to facilitate the development of knowledge on energy system integration and demand management.

Preparing for a Long-Term Joint EU-AU Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy (PRE-LEAP-RE)

PRE-LEAP-RE is a Horizon 2020 project to establish a long-term renewable energy research and innovation partnership between the EU and the African Union. Therefore, an agenda / roadmap for renewable energy projects is being compiled. The agenda will be implemented from 2020 on. EERA, the European Energy Research Alliance, is partner in the PRE-LEAP-RE project. EFZN as a member of EERA Joint Programme Energy System Integration (JP ESI) coordinates the expert input for the definition of an agenda / roadmap throughout Europe.