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Energy System 2050

Energy System 2050 (ES2050) is the central platform of the Helmholtz Association's Research Field Energy. It supports the networking of researchers on cross-program energy issues. In addition, ES2050 serves talent management, public relations and knowledge transfer.  

The preceding cross-program and cross-research-domain initiative of the Research Field Energy (2015 - 2020) networked the eight participating Helmholtz centers and brought together research infrastructures and research activities of excellent quality and particular strategic relevance for the energy transition.
Many system-related findings and technological solutions developed are available to science, politics as well as industry, as summarized by the numerous publications.


Putting the puzzle together again

In his guest article in the current issue of the magazine stadt+werk, Prof. Holger Hanselka, coordinator of the Helmholtz Association's Energy Research Field, addresses the question of what forward-looking solutions for the energy transition might look like and explains the contribution made by the Energy System 2050 initiative of the Helmholtz Energy Research Field.

To issue 1/2 2021 of the journal stadt+werk

Image: KIT/Armbruster

Solutions for the energy transition

As a contribution to global climate protection, Germany must quickly and comprehensively minimize the use of fossil fuels and restructure the energy system accordingly. The Helmholtz Association's "Energy System 2050" research initiative has investigated how and by what means this can best be achieved. At the final conference in Berlin, scientists from the participating research centers presented their findings. More

Image: KIT

"Energy System 2050: Balance and Perspectives

The "Energy System 2050" initiative has investigated how the transformation of the energy system can succeed in a sustainable way. One core result: new technologies are needed, but above all strong models, algorithms and IT systems to make the system environmentally friendly, economical and safe. Helmholtz is making these tools freely available. The initiative's coordinator Holger Hanselka takes stock. More

Composite photo: KIT Bildstelle; Bernhard Mühr www.wolkenatlas.de; Julian Quinting

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.

Picture: Forschungszentrum Jülich

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.


Participants of the Doctoral Seminar 2019 of the Helmholtz joint initiative Energy System 2050

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

Methodology for the sustainability assessment of different battery systems

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

Copyright: MPI für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation / Benjamin Schäfer

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 Image: FZJ

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.


Anna Layer

Coordination Office ES2050
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


Bernd Rech

Research Field Coordinator Energy
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie

Egbert Jolie

Chief Research Manager Energy
Helmholtz Association

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