Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Shaping the energy transition locally

Cities and municipalities play a central role in the energy transition. In the ZuSkE project, ITAS is working with three municipalities to find ways of coupling individual sectors locally in order to save resources and CO2 emissions.
Energiewende vor Ort gestalten Projekt ZuSkE Die Zukunft der Sektorkopplung auf kommunaler Ebene
Essential for sector coupling: rooftop solar systems (Source: Solarim / Pixabay)

Linking the electricity, heating, cooling, mobility, and industry sectors can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This so-called sector coupling plays an important role in the energy transition. Municipalities in particular act as an important interface here due to their proximity to the actors.

Research with three sample municipalities

In order to advance the topic, ITAS coordinates the joint project “The future of sector coupling at the municipal level” (ZuSkE). The project focuses on three very different example municipalities: Berlin, Walldorf (Baden-Württemberg), and Freilassing (Bavaria). In close exchange with local stakeholders (companies and households, but also grid operators and energy producers), ITAS wants to develop tailored strategies for sector coupling together with project partners.

The aim of the project is to find solutions that advance the energy transition and at the same time help prevent undesirable social consequences such as electricity, heat, and mobility poverty. The differing geographical conditions, energy supply structures, and interests of the stakeholders in the three municipalities will help develop particularly flexible strategies for sector coupling. These could then be used by other municipalities within and outside Germany.

Interdisciplinary cooperation

ITAS collaborates with Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft (Research Center for Energy Economics), Zivilgesellschaftliche Plattform Forschungswende (Civil Society Platform Research Transition), and DIALOGIK.

Besides social science data, the project partners collect, among other things, energy consumption and potentials for the generation of renewable energies and the use of sector coupling options. A web application visualizes the results in a map and is then made available to the municipalities as a communication tool. A card game and workshops will also be jointly developed.  (28.01.2021).

Further links and information:

  • Project description ZuSkE on the ITAS website
  • Interview (PDF) with ITAS scientists Benjamin Kraus and Johannes Gaiser about the ZuSkE project