IEK-STE has a share in a multitude of projects within the realms of energy systems research.

Grassroots movement in the energy transition: The role of extreme events for the social acceptance of sustainable heat supply (ExtrA)
In ExtrA, the social acceptance of different heat supply options and their changeability due to extreme events is investigated. By means of survey studies representative for the German population, it will be analyzed how the willingness to actively participate in the heat transition changes over time and how extreme events such as the war in Ukraine or symptoms of climate change impact attitudes. The evaluation of side effects of energy provision, such as environmental pollution or human rights, is also subject of the research project. More

Helmholtz Initiative Climate Adaptation and Mitigation (HI-CAM) Phase 2 - Cluster I: Net-Zero-2050
Research contributing to Germany’s carbon neutrality goal needs to be transferred into actionable projects.
To accelerate the implementation of the actions, the following two steps were identified as being necessary:
· A “reality-check” for a set of specific actions with experts and stakeholders; this includes canvassing the relevance and feasibility of the recommendations for action.
· Enhancing knowledge transfer through an implementation analysis of recommendations for action.
The project’s targets are based on bringing together the knowledge streams of the other two projects and combining them with the involvement of stakeholders. The performance of interactions with stakeholders is the key activity of the proposal. The findings will provide us with an implementation analysis and be the basis for setting up follow-up demonstration and pilot projects. More

Practical Challenges of Climate Change: Intergenerational Justice and Freedom (PRACC)
Climate change belongs among the most significant challenges of our time. The impacts of climate change – especially rising surface temperature, sea-level rise, and increasing frequency of extreme weather events – have severe, longterm and partly irreversible consequences for humans, animals and plants. A broad social discourse about the handling of climate change requires a scientific foundation, that discusses ethical challenges and legal instruments for action as well as examines the form of our economy and our relationship with nature. The objective of PRACC consists in developing an ethical and legal framework for how society can deal adequately with the impacts of climate change, that is based on the basic principles of intergenerational justice and freedom. More

Promoting a JUST transition to GREEN hydrogen in AFRICA (JUST-GREEN AFRH2ICA). A mutual benefit collaborative green hydrogen roadmap between the European and African Unions
JUST-GREEN AFRH2ICA aims to develop a green hydrogen just transition roadmap based on the analysis of different African Union green hydrogen scenarios analysed at socio-economic-technical level as well as inspired by European Union Hydrogen and Just Transition Programmes. This will allow promoting a mutual benefit collaboration of the two continents towards the development of independent and collaborative hydrogen economies, and research and development ecosystem and value chains. More

WASCAL – International Master Program in Energy and Green Hydrogen (IMP-EGH). A capacity building program to accelerate transition to a green economy in West Africa
The IMP-EGH aims to train students based on international standard and best practices to be able to serve the human capacity need of both the local and international energy markets. Particular focus is given to developing capacity in the area of green hydrogen technology. This includes all related fields from green hydrogen production and storage as well as the entire values chains in its utilization and application. More

Effects of societal change on the level and profile of sectoral electricity demand and their importance in coupling energy models with different temporal resolution (GENESE)
In the joint project Genese, a systematic characterization of different aspects of societal change, the recording of the effects of change on electricity demand, a detailed modeling of the change in demand profiles and the evaluation of these profiles via the integration into energy system models with low temporal resolution as well as electricity market models with high temporal resolution is carried out. The CIB-Lab analyzes aspects of societal change and creates consistent, cross-sectoral driver constellations for demand change with the CIB, which act as a starting point as well as a link between the models. More

Development and evaluation of antimicrobial bio-based porous materials from lignocellulosic residue as sustainable alternatives to plastic materials (GelSus)
The aim of this project is to use agricultural lignocellulosic residues to develop antimicrobial nanostructured porous bio-based solids (aerogels) as a sustainable alternative to current fossil-based plastics. Methods for purification of the residues will be developed to ensure reproducible quality. The cellulose-rich materials are then processed in various synthesis steps to produce highly porous aerogels. Antimicrobial properties are then added to the high-quality and sustainable aerogel. A comprehensive assessment by IEK-STE of the environmental impact of the production routes from the plant residues to the targeted aerogels will help to identify the most promising technologies and potential improvements. The evaluation of economic aspects will allow positioning of the aerogels in existing markets. More

A Comprehensive Approach to Harnessing the Innovation Potential of Direct Air Capture and Storage for Reaching CO2-Neutrality (DACStorE)
Within the DACStorE project, three technical approaches for Direct Air Capture are being investigated, compared and further developed to the prototype stage. Great emphasis is placed on the reduction of energy requirements and scale-up possibilities by developing and testing suitable materials, designs and operating concepts. IEK-STE will investigate the environmental, economic and social impacts of the different concepts as part of a Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), and will use a macroeconomic input/output approach to highlight the associated potential employment effects and value added. More

Design of robust energy systems and raw material supply (RESUR)
The focus of the project initiative Helmholtz Platform for the Design of Robust Energy Systems and Raw Material Supply (RESUR) is on the short-term proactive and reactive, model-based provision of information to aid decision-making processes against the background of current political, social, and technological events and developments.
The overall project serves to support strategic decision-making on security of supply as well as the accelerated implementation of the energy transition in Germany. The aim is to continue this work in the longer term and to adapt the models and methods existing within the Helmholtz Association to new challenges in a continuous dialogue with policymakers and industry partners. More

Future water conflicts in Germany (ZuWaKo)
As a consequence of climate change, conflicts over groundwater and surface water are also expected to increase in Germany in the future. As part of the Ladenburger Kolleg of the Daimler and Benz Foundation, a joint project coordinated by ZIRIUS is researching these possible conflicts. With the help of participatory modeling and serious gaming, future contexts and actor strategies are examined in their interactions. More

Towards an industrial- scale process for a biotechnological production of methyl ketones in a novel multiphase loop reactor (MK-ScaLoop)
The successful implementation of many biotechnological processes in conventional reactors is hindered by the toxicity of substrates or products despite theoretically high production rates. To overcome these limitations, an innovative multiphase loop reactor is being developed within MK-ScaLoop to produce methyl ketones. This reactor is expected to reduce losses of valuable biomass and products and the associated efficiency reductions. The development of an appropriate industrial scale process chain (scale-up) and the assessment of environmental and economic impacts are carried out prospectively by means of Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) by IEK-STE. More

Formate for renewable energy storage (FRESH)
The FRESH project focuses on the development, operation and validation of an integrated, competitive process to convert biogenic CO2 into potassium formate. The highly stable aqueous solution, produced using an electrocatalytic process powered by renewable electricity, can be safely stored in tanks for extended periods of time before being converted back to electricity as needed via a direct fuel cell system. Potential life-cycle CO2 reductions and other environmental impacts will be determined through IEK-STE's work. More

As part of the European Green Deal, StoRIES, a network for the development and analysis of energy storage systems, has been formed to provide access to world-class research infrastructures and services. The focus is on improving materials for technologies and optimizing hybrid energy systems to make energy storage more competitive and reduce costs. In addition, the StoRIES project focuses on analyzing the socio-technical and environmental aspects of new developments and systems. More

Systemic expansion of territorial CIRCULAR ecosystems for end-of-life FOAM (CIRCULAR FOAM)
CIRCULAR FOAM aims at the demonstration of a territorial cross-sectorial systemic solution for the circularity of high performance plastics from diverse applications on the example of rigid polyurethane foams used as insulation in refrigerators and in construction. The waste streams will be upcycled chemically, which means that they will be valorised to become new virgin-equivalent feedstock for the chemical industry to produce new high performance plastics. In this way, it will become possible to replace limited fossil-based resources by the renewable waste-based ones, thus not only reducing waste, but also becoming more sustainable and making a step forward to climate neutrality. More

Demonstration of ship-based carbon capture on LNG fuelled ships (EverLoNG)
The aim of EverLoNG is to demonstrate CO2 capture on two LNG-fuelled ships and thus accelerate the large-scale implementation of CO2 reduction technologies in the maritime sector in the short to medium term. More

Incubator Sustainable Electrochemical Value Chains (iNEW 2.0)
For the successful transition of the Rhenish lignite mining area (Rheinisches Revier) to a future region for sustainable business, the regional energy-intensive industries need low-emission and sustainable solutions. The iNEW 2.0 project focuses on the research and development of novel and efficient electrolysis processes for application in sustainable power-to-X (P2X) value chains. More

Energy Transition and Circular Economy (Innovationspool)
The Innovationspool project aims to enable the development of methods and models for the design and operation of a joint development of the future energy system and a Circular Economy. In a cross-disciplinary, -center and -program approach, decarbonization and flexibility options for energy-intensive pyrometallurgical recycling on the one hand and for the processing of mineral secondary raw materials on the other hand are investigated as examples. The STE analyzes and evaluates the Circular Economy. For this purpose, existing Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) models are extended and designed for selected processes. More

Sustainability Assessment of Harmonised Hydrogen Energy Systems: Guidelines for Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment and Prospective Benchmarking (SH2E)
Within the SH2E project internationally accepted guidelines for the sustainability assessment of fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH) are developed and demonstrated. More specifically, these guidelines will be a common ground addressing the environmental (LCA), economic (LCC) and social (S-LCA) Life Cycle Assessment of FCH systems to establish its Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). More

Researchers back to the secondary school - Renewable energy powered water-food-economy nexus for the sustainable livelihood at Dosso Region in Niger (RE-TO-DOSSO)
The majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity. In addition, the water and food security is also critical. With a pilot project in Niger, the TH Köln in cooperation with IEK-STE and international partners wants to show that a solar plant not only improves the water, electricity and food supply, but also strengthens the rural economy and is also a business model for local investors. More

Atlas of Green Hydrogen Generation Potentials in Africa (H2ATLAS-AFRICA). A technological, environmental and socioeconomic feasibility assessment Summary
H2ATLAS-AFRICA project is a joint initiative involving African partners in the Sub-Saharan region to explore the potentials of hydrogen production from the renewable energy sources within the west and south sub-regions. Among the objectives, an assessment of the socio-political context and the development opportunities of a hydrogen economy on the West African and South African countries regions is studied. This is achieved by analyzing the socio-economic indicators impacted by energy, water, and power consumption, and partners’ vision towards projects implementations and objectives. More

BioSC Competence Platform Transform2Bio: Integrated Transformation Processes and Their Regional Implementations: Structural Change from Fossil Economy to Bioeconomy
Ensuring the well-being of current and future generations without surpassing environmental limits is an overarching objective of the sustainable bioeconomy concept. Achieving this objective will require major transformations of existing resource systems, value networks, business models, infrastructures and governance systems. The recent decision of the German government to phase-out coal mining will initiate major transition processes in the lignite mining region, the Rheinische Revier, creating a unique opportunity for understanding the socio-technical dynamics and implementation options towards an entire sustainable bioeconomy region. As part of this multi-dimensional approach, Transform2Bio will establish an interactive stakeholder network, the Stakes2Bio Lab. More

Helmholtz School for Data Science in Life, Earth and Energy (HDS-LEE)
The Helmholtz School for Data Science in Life, Earth and Energy (HDS-LEE) provides an interdisciplinary environment for educating the next generation of data scientists in close connection with applications in biology, geosciences and energy sciences. The participating PhD students at IEK-STE work at the interface of statistics, computer science and energy system analysis. They analyze large heterogeneous data sets from power system dynamics, energy market trading and energy meteorology to improve the operation of future energy systems. More

Last Modified: 29.06.2023