Two of eight working groups of the academies’ project “Future Energy Systems” are headed by scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The Federal Minister of Research, Johanna Wanka, and acatech President Reinhard F. Hüttl have now outlined the objectives and structure of the project at a press conference in Berlin. The project is aimed at compiling and processing knowledge on energy issues, developing energy scenarios, and identifying new research topics.
The working group “Implementation Options” headed by Eberhard Umbach, President of KIT, develops concrete options for establishing the energy system desired in the future. Economic and societal framework conditions are considered as are the material resources available and the technological and scientific development needs. The working group will offer holistic and science-based orientation knowledge for the transformation of the energy system.
The working group “Scenarios” is headed by Armin Grunwald, Head of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) of KIT and of the Office for Technology Assessment with the German Federal Parliament (TAB). The working group is to describe potential future energy systems. The objectives of sustainability, affordability, and security of supply as well as dynamics of changing conditions are to be taken into account. Based on concrete objectives for the design of the future energy system, adequate monitoring of the energy turnaround will be possible. Against these objectives, the progress of the transformation process will be measured.
The academies’ project “Future Energy Systems” is aimed at pooling the interdisciplinary scientific expertise in Germany and gearing it towards the central issues relating to the energy turnaround. The project is coordinated by the German science academies, the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. Apart from technical feasibility, economic and legal aspects as well as efficient use of resources and society acceptance are addressed. The project is intended to identify solutions for managing the energy turnaround and to contribute to an efficient implementation in the form of secure, affordable, and sustainable energy supply. It will provide the scientifically sound basis of discussions of the energy turnaround in society. This will enhance the objectiveness of the debate and medium- and long-term acceptance.
The project “Future Energy Systems” is embedded in the “National Energy Turnaround Research Platform” together with the “Energy Turnaround Research Forum” and the “Coordination Group of Research Institutions and University Representatives”. In this group, the Helmholtz Association is also represented by Eberhard Umbach, its Vice President for Energy. The research platform is aimed at improving the pooling of research activities in the future.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is one of Europe’s leading energy research establishments. Research, education, and innovation at KIT foster the energy turnaround and reorganization of the energy system in Germany. KIT links excellent competences in engineering and science with know-how in economics, the humanities, and social sciences as well as law. The activities of the KIT Energy Center are organized in seven topics: Energy conversion, renewable energies, energy storage and distribution, efficient energy use, fusion technology, nuclear power and safety, and energy systems analysis. Clear priorities lie in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energies, energy storage systems and grids, electric mobility, and enhanced international cooperation in research.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.