Our Profile

The Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research e.V. (ZAE Bayern) is a non-university research institute with approx. 180 employees, which receives institutional funding from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy. We offer our customers complete innovation packages in the field of efficient and sustainable energy systems and are present nationwide with our three main locations in Erlangen, Garching near Munich and Würzburg, as well as two branch offices in Hof and Nuremberg. For over 25 years, ZAE Bayern has been a registered association based in Würzburg. In December 1991, the founding members set themselves the goal of promoting energy research and providing training, education, consulting service, information, and documentation in all areas relevant to energy technology and its related sciences. To date, ZAE Bayern has developed into a nationally and internationally recognized research institute. Our employees, who are scientists, technical staff, administrative employees and students, make a decisive contribution to this.

Our Expertise

ResearchIn its core competence areas of renewable energies, energy storage and energy efficiency, ZAE Bayern combines materials research, component development and system optimization into a seamless value-added chain in an interdisciplinary research approach. The researchers at ZAE Bayern work at the interface between basic research and applied industrial research and deal, among other things, with nanomaterials, thermal and electrochemical energy storage, energy-efficient processes, photovoltaics, energy-optimised buildings and urban areas as well as smart grids and cross-sectoral energy systems (electricity and heat/cooling).

Our Objective

Our objective is to achieve a CO2-neutral energy supply through the synergetic use of renewable energies and energy efficiency technologies. Our institute carries out a large number of research projects with the industry, from SMEs to large corporations, as well as with university and non-university research partners. The focus here is on the practical application of scientific findings. As a link between the project partners, ZAE Bayern links the thematic priorities within the value-added chain, thus creating valuable solutions for increasing energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energies. To this end, numerous projects at the institute are also being carried out on a cross-location basis and thus benefit from the integration of the competences of the individual working groups at ZAE Bayern. ZAE Bayern benefits from collaborative projects that are carried out together with partners from the industry, not only through the resulting synergy effects, but also through the successful acquisition of third-party funds. These are used for applied research projects together with the Bavarian industry. This will enable us to further strengthen our activities in the field of energy research, invest in technical equipment and attract new staff for our research work, thus positioning the ZAE Bayern on a sustainable basis at national and international level.

Our Cooperations

In line with our objectives, ZAE Bayern strives for cooperation with scientific institutions and industry.

To this end, we have a unique cooperation with the Technical University of Munich, TUM (Chair of Energy Systems at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Technical University of Munich), the Julius-Maximilians-University of Würzburg (Chair of Experimental Physics VI) and the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, FAU (Department of Materials Science, Chair VI Materials for Electronics and Energy Technology, i-MEET). Chair holders from these universities hold positions in the management of the institute.

ZAE Bayern is also a member of the "ForschungsVerbund Erneuerbare Energien" (FVEE), a strategic partnership of non-university research institutes in the field of renewable energies in Germany, and of the "Deutsche Industrieforschungsgemeinschaft Konrad Zuse e.V." (German Industrial Research Association Konrad Zuse e.V.), which represents the public interests of non-profit, privately organized industrial research institutions in Germany. ZAE is also a founding member of the Nuremberg Energy Campus (EnCN), which maintains active research cooperation in the field of energy research between the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, the Technical University of Nuremberg, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung and ZAE Bayern in Nuremberg. In addition, ZAE Bayern is a partner in the interdisciplinary research initiative TUM.Energy.

Our publications

ZAE Bayern publishes hundreds of articles every year, including refereed publications, books, manuscripts, conference papers and other publications. A detailed list can be found in the annual activity reports.

Annual Reports

ZAE Bayern

We work at the interface between knowledge-based basic research and applied industrial research. Under the motto "Excellent Energy Research - Excellent Implementation", we realize complete innovation packages that build on synergies between generation, storage and efficiency measures.

Annual Report


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