RWTH Conducts Research in Real-World Laboratories for the Energy Transition




Dirk Müller



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The German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy is financing RWTH’s sub-project with a total of 3.7 million euros.


A consortium of nine partners had applied for the "Reallabore der Energiewende” – Real-World Laboratories of the Energy Transition competition of ideas and is now starting work on their SmartQuart project. RWTH’s Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate, E3D – Institute of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building, and the Teaching and Research Field for Real Estate Development are all involved in the project.

Sustainable energy technologies will be tested under real conditions and on an industrial scale in the real laboratories. The German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy provides a total of over 100 million euros for these projects every year. SmartQuart will receive funding amounting to 20.6 million euros over the next five years, with RWTH being allocated a total of 3.7 million euros.

The aim of the project is to minimize the need for fossil fuels. Urban districts will be networked both within themselves and with each other in the cities of Bedburg and Essen in North Rhine-Westphalia and Kaisersesch in Rhineland-Palatinate. The differently structured neighborhoods should sustainably and economically complement each other and exchange energy in a systemic network. Citizens will also be involved in the project work.

The sub-project Holistic Potential Analysis and Evaluation, supervised by RWTH, is investigating the possibilities and limits of energy-optimized neighborhood planning, implementation, and use. Interconnection within the network will therefore be analyzed with the help of system models that will be developed for this purpose. In addition, the interactions between the technical innovations envisaged for the energy transition and the diverse social, spatial, legal, regulatory, environmental, and economic consequences and framework conditions will also be the subject of investigation. The extent to which the project findings can be transferred to other regions will also be evaluated.

Source: Press and Communications