Important framework conditions for a sustainable energy supply are security of supply, economic efficiency and environmental compatibility.
Against this background, it is important to look for suitable technological options and strategies to analyse and evaluate them. Existing, evolved infrastructures (e.g. buildings, power plants, supply grids) also provide important framework conditions that have a decisive impact on the speed of transition from one system to the next. Incorporating technologies into existing systems and the potential of energy systems in transition are important research priorities of the group.
The complex interconnections within the energy supply system require suitable computer-based models. They simplify processing, ensure reproducibility and consistency, and enable a specification of quantitative correlations. For the analyses, we use and consistently refine
- process-based energy system models
- sector-specific simulation models and
- LCA models for the analysis of environmental acceptability (to evaluate the environmental impact of a technology over its entire life cycle by means of life cycle inventory analyses and material balances).
Technology evaluation is performed on different aggregation levels of the energy system. It includes an analysis of efficiency, environmental impact, and costs. The results constitute a scientific basis for a comprehensive technology evaluation (e.g. benchmarking, R&D requirements, etc.) which is supported by model-based analysis and allows an evaluation to be made in the context of the entire energy supply system. In addition, overarching framework conditions (e.g. greenhouse gas reduction targets, phasing-out of nuclear power) are analysed with the help of energy system models and their impact on possible technology-based strategies and pathways is described in the form of future scenarios.