Energy systems integration addresses those aspects of the energy system that make all individual components form a whole, i.e. all physical and IT-based interconnections as well as their structures and behaviours. It is incorporated in the broader challenge to coherently manage the resources energy, materials, and the natural environment. In addition, the interfaces to the “environment” of the energy system such as circular economy are of high importance. The systemic and, hence, trans-technological approaches pursued consist of the analysis and optimisation of selected added value chains and sustainability paths that also consider technologies studied by the Helmholtz Centres and their own real data sets. The objective is to design an environmentally sound, viable, flexible, stable and resource-efficient energy system by integrating and combining individual technologies and sectors.
Interactions within the energy system are represented by models, simulated for a variety of scenarios, and verified by real data sets. Modelling from the component level to the process level to the energy system level will lead to in-depth knowledge and applicable tools. Management, control, and optimisation of the entire system as well as of individual sub-systems will decisively determine stability and availability (robustness and resilience), economic efficiency, and ecology.
The above aspects will be the focus of three work packages (WP1 – WP3), which in turn are dealt with in the comprehensive contexts of multimodal energy system models and, on a higher level, consistent energy scenarios. WP1 “Multimodal Energy System 2050+” will cover the design and optimisation of system concepts for coupled multimodal networks connecting physical (power AC/DC, gas, heat, and large material flows) and IT infrastructures in a reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy system. WP2 “Flexibility of basic industrial process chains for providing dynamic system services” will address the extent to which flexibility of resource-intensive industries can contribute to system stability as a service and which technological innovation is required. WP3 “Challenges associated with energy systems integration on the market, regulatory, and socio-economic levels” will study, in the context of conclusive long-term scenarios, the transformation of the energy system into a system, whose supply is primarily based on regenerative sources and centralised/decentralised structures and whose demand is highly flexible.
The key future research project “Energy Systems Integration” proposed in the present document is an important element of the strategic development of the Research Field “Energy” as it will open up new, innovative areas of research for systemic solutions and serve as a nucleus for the “Energy Systems Integration” programme that is to be newly established in POF IV.