To uphold the mission of IEK-3, thematically consistent dissertations have been awarded since 2010. The first three years were characterized by the evaluation of pipeline transportation potentials of green hydrogen. Technologies and costs were analyzed, and the concept was validated for further research pursuits. Starting in 2013, research was expanded from a focus on hydrogen, to analyses of the overall energy system. The first complex energy system analyses were undertaken, looking at availability, demand, and cost with simplified assumptions about infrastructure in three separate dissertations. From these findings, and a deficit analysis, the foundations were laid in 2016 for the current ETHOS model suite (Energy Transformation PatHway Optimization Suite), which can systematically synthesize and analyze overall energy systems from a techno-economic perspective, and optimize them in terms of costs, under CO2 restrictions.

In the following, the capability of our program suite is briefly explained. Furthermore, a list of cooperation partners that are applying our knowledge is available on this page.

ETHOS Model Suite Schematic (copyright by IEK-3)

To support these analyses, the framework ETHOS.FINE was developed, which serves as the basis for all essential development models. The framework's special feature is the detailed temporal and spatial resolution of produced optimization models. To systematically reduce complexity and to accelerate optimization convergence, data aggregation methods are implemented in the ETHOS.FINE framework. ETHOS contains a single-node model, with an hourly resolution and high detail for mapped technologies in Germany, forming the basis of Germany-focused studies. Furthermore, ETHOS contains a potential analysis model for the placement of renewable energies that can calculate the power generation of PV on rooftops and in open spaces and can calculate onshore and offshore wind energies with GPS coordinates and an hourly resolution over 30 weather years. In the course of this research, an optimization model for global green hydroelectric power generation, including long-distance transport and scenarios for potential sales markets, was developed. A further focus was the modeling of hourly-resolved energy demands and their trends in the residential, commercial/retail/service, industrial, and transportation sectors. Since 2019, this work has been extended to integrate non-energy demands of energy carriers and carbon cycles in industry, and a regionalization of energy system models with the possibility of conducting integrated optimizations of the infrastructure designs of electricity, gas, hydrogen, and heat transport.

This structure gives IEK-3 a unique selling point in terms of the level of modeling detail and the complex analyses based on it, including the capacities and placement of storage facilities while taking into account the security of supply during cold dark periods. The current work extends the ETHOS model suite to an integrated energy view for Europe, capturing energy infrastructures and transport, as well as a deepening in the industrial use and international supply of hydrogen.

Our publications are based on the ETHOS model suite, which you can access here. As a public research institution, our models and frameworks are publicly available under the open-source approach via this link as well. A listing of our most popular open-source frameworks can be found below.


Framework for Integrated Energy Assessment


Geospatial Land Availability for Energy Systems


Renewable Energy System toolkit for Python


House infrastructure Simulator


Petri Net Agent based Load Profile Simulator

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  • Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
  • Techno-economic Systems Analysis (IEK-3)
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Last Modified: 23.11.2023