Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

AutGrid – Opportunities and Risks of Grid Self-Sufficiency in Germany

Model-based analysis and evaluation of the effects of grid self-sufficiency in regions in the German energy system. As part of the BMBF-funded project AutGrid, Fraunhofer ISE and ZIRIUS are analysing observed developments in the field of energy regions.

Project Funding

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project Furation

May 2015 - October 2018

Numerous municipalities, regions and increasingly also cities have set themselves the goal of switching their energy supply to renewable energy technologies. 100% renewable energy regions, bio-energy villages, and even cities like Flensburg and Frankfurt have set themselves ambitious targets concerning their energy supply and CO2 reduction. But what effects do these developments have on the entire energy system in Germany?

As part of the BMBF-funded project AutGrid, Fraunhofer ISE and ZIRIUS are analysing observed developments in the field of energy regions. For this purpose, social scientists are using expert interviews and workshops to investigate which factors drive energy self-sufficiency and how they interact. On this basis, consistent context scenarios are calculated, showing where the regions are located, to what degree they are self-sufficient, and how this will develop until 2050.

For the identified scenarios, an optimisation model with high temporal and spatial resolution will be used to show what effects this will have on the energy system Germany. The focus of the investigation is on a comparison of the scenarios with regard to system costs, required grid expansion, utilisation of the networks and the technology portfolio. Through this analysis, explicit recommendations for action regarding the direct or indirect promotion of renewable energy regions can be made. In addition, a qualitative analysis of the opportunities and risks arising from network self-sufficiency is carried out.

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