While the transformation of the electricity supply system within the framework of the German Energiewende is already well advanced and the way ahead is clearly mapped out, the transformation of the heating system is proving to be much more difficult. This is partly due to the fact that in this part of the energy system, a large number of actors and decision-makers need to come together for a coordinated approach in order to achieve more than selective progress: Homeowners, energy suppliers, grid operators, municipalities, tenants, users, trades, the construction industry, heating technology manufacturers. Individual decisions will not suffice here. Building on previous experiences of the partners, solution options (energy efficiency incl. building renovation with aesthetic aspects, heating system selection, energy carriers, storage at all levels, fulfillment of regulatory requirements, smart grid structures) with considerable interdependencies in the time sequence and between the actors are to be coordinated through suitable discursive approaches. In addition, multiple interactions between the heating sector and other areas of the energy system must be considered in the transformation.
Goals and procedure
The establishment of a new research network Stuttgart Research Initiative Discursive Transformation of Energy Systems (SRI DiTEnS), based on extensive preliminary work in all participating disciplines, aims to implement analytical competencies and technical as well as discursive procedures in such a way that in the future, on the basis of digital twins and an extensive integrating model toolbox, data-based processes for the transformation of energy infrastructures can be carried out with all participating stakeholders. The coordination of the multitude of dependent individual decisions and the planning of accepted transformation processes towards a climate-neutral and supply-secure energy system should be made possible with this.
In the initial research project "VR-based simulative design of a societal dialog for the transformation of urban energy systems", corresponding stakeholder-integrated decision-making processes for (pre-)urban (existing) neighborhoods are to be developed for all buildings and infrastructure components located there. The combination of different models and their integrated operation as well as the fast and in parts self-adaptive parameterization of the models to the respective conditions still pose considerable challenges to the fundamental algorithm development, since up to now the parameterization of such individual models has been carried out either in the context of the planning processes for new building projects or by manual research. On the basis of the digital twins to be developed, on the one hand a visual inspection of the considered objects by means of 3D techniques and on the other hand a multimodal analysis of specific measures on building, neighborhood and energy system level will be made possible. The determination of the target values for different scenarios is carried out under integrative consideration of all energy sources and applications (heat, electricity, mobility) of corresponding infrastructures and the stakeholder concerns.
As a result of the project, a methodology is available that makes it possible for the stakeholders involved to "experience" the planned energy system transformation of (existing) neighborhoods towards climate neutrality even before its realization by means of VR technologies. It is suitable to promote acceptance as a basis for the development and implementation of holistically (technically, economically, ecologically, aesthetically) optimized solutions.
Research focus (SP)
The work is organized into three research foci (SPs): Energy Science Focus (SPe), Information Science Focus (SPi), and Social Science Focus (SPs). ZIRIUS is leading the SPs; this involves the digitally supported integration of decision criteria and steps as well as the organization of a stakeholder dialogue and its digitally supported, data-based coordination with suitable interfaces for the consideration of information needs and decision criteria from a stakeholder perspective.