Model Services

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 the findings and a deficit analysis, the foundations were laid in 2016 for the current ETHOS program 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 our cooperation partners is as well provided.

IEK-3 Model Suite Schematic (Copyright: IEK-3)

To support these analyses, the framework 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 the produced optimization models. In order to systematically reduce the complexity and to accelerate optimization convergence, data aggregation methods are implemented in the FINE framework. ETHOS contains a single-node model with hourly resolution and high detail in the mapped technologies for Germany, forming the basis for Germany-focused studies. Furthermore, ETHOS contains a potential analysis model for the placement of renewable energies that can calculate the power generation by PV on rooftops and in open spaces and can calculate onshore and offshore wind energies with GPS coordinates and 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 on modeling 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 an integrated optimization 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 model suite ETHOS 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.

International Research Partners

Aarhus University (DK)

Joint Research Center (EU)


Hydrogen Aragon Foundation (ES)

ETH Zürich (CH)

Polytechnico di Milano (I)


Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (US)

Universidad de la iglesia de Deusto (ES)

Fundacio Institut de Recerca de l’energia de catalunya (ES)

Universiteit Twente (NL)

Instytut Maszyn Przepływowych (PL)

Stanford University (US)


National Research Partners




Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie

Potsdam Institut für Klimaforschung

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam

Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum

Öko-Institut e.V.

Reiner Lemoine Institut gGmbH

FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg EDOM

Universität Stuttgart

TU Dresden

TU München

Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft (FfE) München

Engler-Bunte Institut (ebi)

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG)

Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universität zu Köln

RWTH Aachen

Business Partners

Linde Group

GE Global Research


Westnetz GmbH


umlaut GmbH


Siemens Gas and Power

AIR LIQUIDE Deutschland GmbH

Audi AG

Ford Motor Company




NGO Partners





Last Modified: 30.05.2022