KIT Energy Center

Topic 7 - Energy Systems Analysis

Bright lights all over Europe: This NASA picture taken from outer space symbolizes the manifold interconnections of energy systems.  (Photo: NASA GSFC/NOAA NGDC)
What could the energy mix of the future be like? What contributions of single energy technologies or portfolios of energy technologies to a future energy system can be expected? Developments in energy technology and key technologies, limited resources, climate change and environmental impacts, demographic change, dynamic political, social, and economic framework conditions, striving for sustainability – all these factors must be included in analyses of the energy system. KIT, in targeted interdisciplinary research, pools technical expertise, methodological know-how in modeling, knowledge in economics and about the societal environment.

Energy futures

The transformation of the energy system must take account of very different paradigms, such as social acceptance, affordability, and so on. The aim of the research is to reveal these different paradigms in socio-technical scenarios, focusing on the understanding of the interdependencies between different paradigms and techno-economic constraints.


Energy markets and energy system analysis

Due to the expansion of renewable energy carriers, their integration into the existing national and international energy systems is becoming increasingly important. The focus of research is therefore the analysis of the market and system integration of renewable energies. Electricity market coupling, demand, electricity prices as well as influences on local, decentralized and central markets are also examined.


Distributed energy systems and networks

Declining costs of renewable energy, storages, IT technologies, and combined heat and power (CHP) lead to an increasing decentralization of electricity generation, creating new challenges for the entire energy system. The goal of the research is to analyze systemically these challenges – especially in the context of electricity grids - as well as to formulate recommendations for action. This research includes the analysis of human behavior and user acceptance.


Renewable energy and energy efficiency

Renewable energy carriers are an integral part of the today’s energy system. But it is also obvious, that an efficient use of energy is a necessary requirement for a successful energy transformation. The overall objective of the research is the techno-economic analysis and evaluation of policy instruments, measures and technologies.


Energetic and material use of biomass

Characteristic for biomass is its versatile use, i.e. as food and feed but also as an energy carrier or as a material. The aim of the analyses is to evaluate innovative technologies for the provision of biogenic products that can be used materially or energetically with regard to technical, economic and environmental aspects.


Innovative process engineering

The exploitation of efficiency potential is not sufficient to implement the energy transition successfully. For innovative technologies to make a positive contribution to the transformation of the energy system, it is desirable to identify potential hotspots at an early stage of technology development. The aim of the research is to make a corresponding contribution to technology development in cooperation with the technical institutes.


Transport and energy

Individual mobility is, on the one hand, a sign of modern society, but it can also contribute to environmental pollution in general and climate change in particular. The aim of the work is the techno-economic analysis of the effects of electric vehicles on energy systems and material flows. Agent-based simulation models and energy system models support the analysis.


Energy and material flow management

The increasing integration of energy and material flows requires greater consideration of the interdependencies in the design of a sustainable energy system. The resulting challenges are explored exemplarily for the energy-water nexus in the urban context and for strategic metals.


Smart Grid Resilience

An increase of renewables and the thus accompanied decentralization and digitalization of the energy system imply new vulnerabilities and uncertainties referring to the power supply – disruptions of components or subsystems may adversely affect the overall system. Our research focuses on impact analysis of different network topologies (microgrids) and on the development of new smart resilient and fair concepts on dealing with power scarcity (security of supply, grid stability).