Energy and resource efficiency to ensure an affordable, reliable and at the same time environmentally-friendly energy supply for a growing world population is not conceivable without material innovations. The requirements for a transformation of the energy system with regard to energy production, transport, supply and storage are defined by particular challenges for materials and material technologies. The availability of certain raw materials for a number of high-tech applications also plays a key role. The development of efficient recycling methods and widely-available, efficient substitute materials are urgent research issues.