Energy System 2050 – A Contribution of the Research Field Energy

“Energy System 2050” is a joint initiative of the research field energy of the Helmholtz Association. Running until 2019, it is aiming at improving the concrete understanding of energy systems and at developing technological solutions for use by politics and industry.

Open Source for a Global “Energiewende”

Computer models are essential for achieving energy turnaround also known as “Energiewende”. Simulations can help in the planning of capacities for generating, transporting, and storing energy, taking into account dynamic parameters such as the weather and energy consumption. Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) had a crucial part in developing the corresponding modeling tools that the Helmholtz Association (HGF) has recently made available on an Internet platform – free of charge and open source. This Helmholtz Energy Computing Initiative (HECI) aims at facilitating the cooperation when implementing climate-protection measures in energy systems.

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

At the United Nations Climate Summit in New York on September 23, 2019, the Federal Republic of Germany committed to achieving greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. Specifically, Germany set the target of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions to 80 to 95% that of 1990 by 2050. Furthermore, the greenhouse gas reduction paths proposed for this purpose are enhanced by a large number of detailed sub-targets (e.g. the share of renewable energies in electricity generation) which the Federal Government considers necessary in order to achieve the overall reduction target. Although this canon of targets has been successively developed and expanded over the past decades, the question of whether the proposed transformation paths are cost-optimal strategies remains unanswered.


Doctoral Seminar 2019 of the Helmholtz joint initiative Energy System 2050

Bringing researchers from different research disciplines together to support their work on solutions for the challenges of our future energy system is a central goal of the Helmholtz initiative ES2050. Supporting young scientists is another. This year’s ES2050 doctoral seminar focused on interactivity and interdisciplinarity but still left enough room for talks and poster presentations by the young scientists. More

Sustainability analysis of energy storage systems for the energy system transformation

Battery storage systems represent an essential flexibilization option for the success of the German energy system transformation. These technologies must meet a wide variety of requirements, such as high technological performance, low costs and environmental impacts. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have analyzed the sustainability of various batteries for stationary applications, taking into account stakeholder interests. In line of this, a publication on the CO2 footprint and life cycle costs of different batteries was published. The article was voted one of the best articles of 2017 by the journal "Energy Technology." more

Sun, wind and power trading

The use of renewables like the sun and wind can cause fluctuations in power grids. But what impact do these fluctuations have on the security of power supply? To answer this question, scientists from Jülich and Göttingen worked together with colleagues in London and Tokyo to analyse different types of fluctuations in several power grids in Europe, Japan, and the USA - and came to surprising conclusions. Their study was published in January 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Energy. more


Dirk Witthaut appointed at the University of Cologne

Dirk Witthaut, co-coordinator of the research topic storage and grids, has been appointed as junior professor for the physics of complex supply networks at the University of Cologne. He has been jointly appointed with the Forschungszentrum Jülich, where he is heading an independent Helmholtz Young Investigator's group at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research. Dirk Witthaut is working at the interface of engineering, theoretical physics and applied mathematics. A main goal of his research group is the development of new methods and mathematical tools for the analysis and optimization of future power grids. This combination of basic and applied research is now further strengthened by the joint appointment.

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