Energiewende – an Herculean task

Architecture and coupling of energy transmission grids

In the energy system up to now, the nearest power plant has generally been less than 50 km away. In Germany’s wind energy system, generating plants are mostly located much further away from the consumer, whereas with solar power, the systems are much closer to home: many of them are domestic photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Our studies show that the optimum combination, from a macroeconomic perspective, will be achieved with the right mix of wind and solar. This means that the electricity grid must be developed in two directions: local and long-distance. Fine-tuning the architecture of the German electricity grid is one of the current subjects of research at our institute.

Another new issue concerns the coupling of previously unconnected energy grids, i.e. electricity, heat and gas. This offers massive cost reduction potential, which can be leveraged by connecting these grids. This is another current topic of research at our institute.