Designing the Energy System of the Future

Our future energy supply should be carbon neutral, affordable, and socially sustainable. With our “Energy System Design” program, we aim to lead the way and make a significant contribution to the transition to a sustainable global energy system.

Our holistic approach: We understand the transformation of the energy system as a complex process that not only involves innovative technologies, but also affects numerous societal actors. Our scientists investigate ethical, social, political, economic, technological, and environmental aspects involved in this transition and use these as the basis for concrete recommendations on how the entire system can be successfully restructured.

Our goal is to develop an integrated energy system where energy is stored and transported in various forms, intelligent distribution networks control the flow of energy, and consumers become energy producers and can even feed electricity into the network themselves. Our researchers design all the methods and technologies required for this – from smart residential areas and urban districts through to digitally controlled European transmission grids.

By pooling our expertise in this way, we aim to play a role in transforming every area of the energy system by 2050 and beyond. We involve interest groups, political decision-makers, and the general public in this process, for example by assessing new technologies at the system level and providing access to models, methods, and tools for designing and operating energy systems. We team up with stakeholders from society in real-world laboratories, where we address current issues such as urban development, sustainability, and mobility. Together with partners from the industrial sector, we develop solutions that allow us to rapidly transfer our findings into applications.

The research infrastructure in the participating Helmholtz Centers plays a key role in our work. The “Energy Lab 2.0”, “Living Lab Energy Campus”, and “NESTEC” examine whether new approaches are technically feasible at the system level. They link energy networks and components that can be operated with real hardware under controlled conditions. These are complemented by large-scale software platforms that create models for energy systems, for instance, or simulate various scenarios depending on the weather conditions.

Overview

  • In the “Energy System Design” program we are aiming to design the integrated energy system of the future.
  • We are pursuing this goal by taking a holistic approach and incorporating ethical, social, political, economic, technological, and environmental aspects in their work.
  • Our scientists assess new technologies and provide access to models, methods, and tools that can be used to design and operate the energy system of the future.
  • Interest groups, political decision-makers, and the general public are integrated in the entire transition process.

Topics

Other participating Helmholtz Centers

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ)
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB)

 

 

NEWS

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May 2021: 200 Jahre Helmholtz – Inspired by challenges

Anlässlich des 200. Geburtstags unseres Namensgebers Hermann von Helmholtz präsentieren wir im Laufe des Jahres Stück für Stück 200 große wissenschaftliche Herausforderungen unserer Zeit – die Challenges, an denen unsere Forscherinnen und Forscher tagtäglich arbeiten.

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April 2021: The Amazing Field of Science: Bioeconomy to End the Ecological Crisis

Population growth and the increasing standard of living make our society face big ecological challenges: Climate change, littering of the seas, dwindling agricultural areas, resource scarcity. Bioeconomy aims at replacing fossil by regenerative resources and at using advanced and sustainable technologies based on biological knowledge and principles. Visions and questions relating to bioeconomy, the subject of the current science year, were in the focus of the first digital annual celebration of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

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March 2021: Hannover Messe 2021: KIT Showcasing Selected Highlights of Technology Development at Two Virtual Booths from April 12 to 16

A plant-inspired anti-reflective film, a flexible production system for individualized products, a digital assembly assistant, the world's smallest transistor, and climate-neutral synthetic fuels. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will present these and other research and innovation topics at the Hannover Messe 2021. At the digital event from April 12 to 16, the KIT will showcase selected highlights at the virtual booths "Future Hub" and "Energy Solutions". An overview will be provided by the two live streams on April 13, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. on the "Future Hub" and on April 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. on "Energy Solutions".

Press Release 27/2021
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March 2021: Karlsruhe Real-world Lab for Sustainable Climate Protection

From the Federal Climate Protection Act to alternative drive systems and renewable energies to Fridays for Future and personal behaviors: Many people have long since become aware of the importance of climate protection. With the “Karlsruhe Real-world Laboratory for Sustainable Climate Protection (KARLA),” Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the city of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, and other partners will move this topic even more into the focus of the society’s daily life and study selected local climate protection measures. The project is funded with EUR 1.1 million by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research, and the Arts.

Press Release 17/2021
Grunwald
February 2021: Armin Grunwald appointed to German Ethics Council

In accordance with the proposal of the Federal Government, he was appointed to the German Ethics Council by the President of the German Bundestag, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, with effect from 14 February 2021.

Professor Grunwald is head of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) and holds the Chair of Philosophy and Ethics of Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He also heads the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag.

He will attend a Plenary Meeting of the German Ethics Council for the first time on 25 February 2021.

KIT News
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lookKIT 2020/4: Technology. Impacts. Visions

Today's society is dependent on technology - and on the fact that it is constantly evolving. It is the task of science to explore technical visions and implement them, to assess the opportunities and risks of new technologies, and to investigate the impacts of innovations already used in everyday life. At KIT, scientists in numerous disciplines work on technologies and concepts that drive technical and social progress. This issue of lookKIT presents some of these projects and approaches: from peacemaking machines to climate engineering strategies to the concept of technology futures.

lookKIT 2020/4: Technology. Impacts. Visions