Urban Energy System (UES)

Focus Research Area Urban Energy System

The realisation of the energy system transformation and the involved efforts for sector coupling in cities play a key role in achieving climate protection goals. This is true because urban energy systems are characterised by distinct properties, such as high energy demand per area unit, dense infrastructures for electricity, heat and transport, and many heterogeneous stakeholders. Thus, participatory urban development planning is essential in the energy transformation. The focus research area UES of Fraunhofer IEE in Kassel (http://www.urban-energy-system.net) deals with the current and future research questions in order to support municipalities, cities and utilities in the challenges of transforming urban energy infrastructures and coupling the electricity, heat and transport sectors in urban areas.

Decision Theatres for the exploration of decision spaces of energy system optimisations in a regional context

The purpose of this INES subproject is the adaptation of methods and tools of energy system analysis to the local and regional conditions in Kassel, and to apply them in close cooperation with Fraunhofer IEE. To do so, so-called Decision Theatres (DT) are going to be conducted. In these events, cost-efficient target systems and regulatory options are presented to stakeholders of the urban energy system transformation in an informed dialogue. Results of parameter sensitivity calculations and their visualisation play an substantial role in a DT because the live situation requires instant illustration of the effects varying underlying model assumptions. Assumptions to be varied comprise technology costs, technological preferences pro/con wind power, open space/roof top PV, self-consumption oriented prosumer systems, local or district heating, building retrofitting, or other efficiency improvement measures. This in turn builds trust in the decision-making process. The proposed approach is intended to rationalise the discussions, considering conflicting objectives of the involved actors, and to enable an efficiently consensus finding.

The overall objectives of the subproject are:

  • To test and adapt the DT method to questions of energy system analysis, in particular the selection of consensual expansion scenarios in the municipal and regional context
  • To downscale the explorative optimisation model and the decision space calculation for the German energy system to the municipal/regional level of energy supply in Kassel (county and city).
  • To develop interactive visualisation tools for the target group-oriented presentation of model results in DTs.
FundingHessische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (HMWK)
Period04/2020 bis 03/2021

Dr. Friedrich Krebs

Lukas Jansen (geb. Nacken)