ERC Grant for Dr. Heidi Heinrichs Regarding Research Project MATERIALIZE
The world must become climate-neutral. To achieve this, the global energy system must be comprehensively restructured. Raw materials are essential for the success of this urgently needed energy transition - because new technologies for renewable energies, for example, are material-intensive. A worldwide conversion requires immense quantities of various raw materials, from iron ore to rare earths. The latter in particular are among the so-called critical materials that can often only be extracted in a few countries. This can lead to bottlenecks that jeopardize the global energy transition.
Dr. Heidi Ursula Heinrichs from the Jülich Institute for Techno-Economic Systems Analysis therefore initiated the MATERIALIZE project. The name stands for "Material Realizable Energy Transformation - Navigating the Material Bottlenecks of a Carbon-Neutral Energy System." Over the next five years, the project aims to answer important questions: What are the material bottlenecks? How do they affect the global energy transformation? What strategies would be most likely to avoid them? What would be the alternatives? What is special about MATERIALIZE is that the project is specifically designed not only to identify material bottlenecks, but also to find ways to circumvent them. To achieve this, the scientists are combining methods for material and energy system analysis to run through a variety of scenarios to find possible - and robust - paths for transforming the global energy system.
To implement MATERIALIZE, Dr. Heidi Heinrichs has received an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Each of the Starting Grants is endowed with 1.5 million euros. The ERC funds outstanding scientists in an early career phase for innovative projects in basic research over a period of five years. During this time, the funded researchers have the opportunity to establish their research group.
IEK-3 sincerely congratulates Dr. Heinrichs for this award and looks forward to the implementation of this exciting project.