Research Group Renewable Energy
The development of renewable energy sources (biomass, wind power, photovoltaic...) has made great progress in the last decade. For example, the installed capacity of renewable electricity generation plants has increased from about 5,000 MW to almost 85,000 MW in the last 20 years in Germany. The number of wind turbines has increased between 1990 and 2013 from 500 to 23,500, becoming a dominate presence in the landscape. However, the accompanying infrastructural changes with regards to power generation, requires further measures to enable a better integration of the power systems technological, economic, environmental and social aspects. Fundamental questions still remain unanswered. How for example can the problem of residual load be resolved? Which technologies and under what conditions are the optimal to support a “Triple bottom line” (sustainability). Where are the optimal locations? Which developments in the energy system can be foreseen and evaluated for (scenarios)? What are the potential environmental effects likely to occur in the future due to an expansion of the renewable energies and how these can be monitored. The Research Group “Renewable Energy” aims to begin answering these questions.
The aim of the working group is to identify sustainable technological / systemic configurations and spatial allocations of renewable energy infrastructure. The work is based on a diverse databank of established and evolving renewable energy technologies. The use of term "sustainable" in this context, we refer to the energy objective triangle; security of supply, cost efficiency, environmental and social soundness.
The starting point is the analysis of the existing energy system in terms of currently existing consumption, deployment patterns and power generation infrastructure. In addition the technical, natural environment and economic potentials of renewable energies are determined, with a particular emphasis on the assessment and monitoring of environmental effects. In the first step "energy landscapes" are designed by scenario approaches, spatially explicit estimates of potential estimations, (energy) system optimization and technology assessments. In the succeeding step the impact of the dynamic transformation of the energy system is analyzed with respect to wildlife, human health and social acceptance. Finally, approaches and methods are analyzed and developed to monitor these impacts.
Tools: GIS (Geografic-Information-System), numerical simulation approaches, energy system modeling, szenario methodology