Conversion strategies for a sustainable energy future

The main focus of the department is the development of energy system models for the analysis of the transformational processes taking place in the supply and use of energy in Germany and beyond, in accordance with the political framework. Another area of focus is the techno-economic evaluation of energy systems based on energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions and costs, as well as consideration of the tailor-made integration of the national energy system into European and global supply networks. In addition, the analysis and evaluation of resource availability under the changing boundary conditions of future energy systems is being undertaken. The main goal is the provision of actionable knowledge for energy transformation for decision-makers in politics and business. The research work is carried out in close cooperation with the new Institute for Electrochemical Process Engineering (IEK-14).

Highlights

Wasserstoff Roadmap NRW

Strategies for a greenhouse gas neutral energy supply by the year 2045

Under the new Federal Climate Protection Act (KSG), Germany is committed to becoming greenhouse gas neutral ("net zero") in terms of anthropogenic emissions by 2045. Compared with the greenhouse gas reduction targets pursued by the EU under the Green Deal, Germany's new legally binding targets are significantly more ambitious, both in terms of quantitative reduction targets and the remaining period for action.

Hydrogen Roadmap NRW

Hydrogen Roadmap NRW

Scientific companion study that was used by North Rhine-Westphalia as the basis for decision-making and as an orientation aid for the formulation of a state-focused, North Rhine-Westphalia hydrogen roadmap.

Transformationsstrategien 2050

Transformation Strategies 2050

Cost-efficient and Climate-friendly Transformation Strategies for the German Energy System up to 2050

Betrachtete Technologiepfade

Infrastructure Analysis H2Mobility

Electric drivetrains are key elements of low carbon energy-efficient transport based on renewable energy sources. Furthermore, a transportation system with zero local emissions will substantially improve people’s quality of life, especially in urban areas currently struggling with air quality issues.

Betrachtete Technologiepfade

Open Source Framework FINE

The FINE python package provides a framework for modeling, optimizing and assessing energy systems with multiple regions, commodities and time steps. Target of the optimization is the minimization of the total annual cost while considering technical and enviromental constraints.

Research topics

Renewable Energy, Grid and Storage

Renewable Energy, Grid and Storage

In order to achieve the emission reduction targets of the EU, an increased share of power generation from renewable energy sources (RES) is required. However, such a future energy system with a strongly fluctuating supply of RES presents challenges that need to be solved.

Mobility

Transport

Like any other economic sector, transportation will have to contribute to Germany’s stringent reduction targets regarding greenhouse gases and locally active pollutants. New fuels as well as the related conversion and end use technologies are currently under discussion in regards to their potential contributions towards achieving these targets.

Hydrogen Infrastructure

Hydrogen Infrastructure

Producing hydrogen via electrolysis during times of high renewable power generation for subsequent use in fuel cell electric vehicles allows the coupling between the electricity and mobility sectors. However, a centralized electrolysis process is both spatially and temporally uncorrelated from the hydrogen demand at refueling stations.

Residential Sector

Residential Sector

On a worldwide scale, the residential sector is responsible for 17% of the CO2-emissions. In order to reach the overall goal of net zero CO2-emissions in the second half of this century, a transition of residential energy supply towards a system based on distributed energy resources offers a promising solution.

Industry

Industry

Taking into account the power requirements and process-related emissions, German industry is responsible for roughly one-third of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG emissions). In order to considerably reduce the GHG emissions in addition to increasing the usage of renewable power in this sector, the heat supply must be made more efficient.

IEK-3 Team

Our interdisciplinary team of scientists performs energy-related process and systems analyses for the purposes of planning and consultation. Current priorities include the development of energy strategies in order to meet the German Federal Government’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, designing infrastructures for a sustainable and secure energy supply (e.g., via power-to-gas, power-to-fuel, biomass-to-liquid) and the conducting of cost analyses for the implementation and operation of new technologies for future energy markets.

IEK-3 Team