The future of energy supply and especially power generation more and more plays a vital role in political and social discussions. Many countries foster the expansion of renewable energy. The German federal government has designed a way towards an energy system that is based on renewable energy in its energy concept in 2010.
The integration of high amounts of renewable energy sources, which for the most fluctuate, is a great challenge in many regards for the power system.
Approaches to solving this challenge are usually developed using energy systems modelling basing on optimization. The follwoing fields of the power system and its interdependencies are analyzed in the respective research areas:
Renewable energy is fluctuating geographically and over time. Where do they make sense? What does the perfect technology mix look like? What interdependencies of different energy sources exist?
Conventional power plants
Covering the residual load, providing balancing and reactive power. What is the optimal use and buildup? How does the provision of balancing power change in the future?
Balancing of local deviations of supply and demand, peak-shaving of fluctuating production. How big is the buildup need? What are the interdependencies with storages? How far are grids a tool for the integration of fluctuating production?
Future development of electricity demand. Do efficiency measures compensate the demand increase due to economic growth and growth of population? How big are the potentials of load shifting? What effect does the interconnection of sectors have?
Used forthe temporal postponement of production or demand. How big is the storage demand? How do circumstances and system configurations influence the usage of different technologies?
Additional usage with temporal flexibility for charging and possible feed-in to the grid (V2G). What effects does the integratrion of electric vehicles into the power system have? How sustainable is electric mobility regarding the energy supply?
Coordination of supply and demand. What market instruments support the demanded expansion targets? How do market mechanisms influence the profitability of different types of power plants?
Modeling / Optimization
Optimization and simulation of the interaction of production, distribution and storage of electricity. The models include inter-temporal power plant expansion, detailed mapping of the transmission grid as well as unit commitment.
Which power plants, storages and grids are profitable in the future? How can climate protection goals be reached efficiently? What changes have to be made in the system to integrate production from renewables?