New ENergy grid StructURes for the German Energiewende (ENSURE) – Phase III

Project description

In order to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, Germany intends to transition its electricity supply to as much renewable energy as possible by 2045. With the energy grid in its current form, however, this energy transition cannot be achieved. This is where the ENSURE research project comes in as part of the “Kopernikus projects” funding initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In the Kopernikus project ENSURE, researchers, grid operators, producers, and civil society organizations are developing holistic solutions to make the power grid fit for current and future challenges. The holistic solution modules developed in ENSURE will help secure energy supply in the long term and under changing conditions.

Against this background, the key objective of the third phase (2024-2026) of ENSURE is to provide concrete recommendations for action for the implementation and accelerated realization of the energy transition in Germany. ENSURE takes advantage of the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary expertise available in the project.

The overarching goals of ENSURE III are:

  • developing a systemic and cross-sector solution approach for the German energy system with a focus on decentralized structures;
  • evaluating and validating technologies developed in ENSURE for future grid development;
  • formulating clear recommendations for action for grid operators, regulation, politics, technology development, and society;
  • promoting social acceptance, which is essential for a successful energy transition;
  • developing a modular approach with high flexibility for future challenges.

The work of ITAS is assigned to subproject (SP) 1 “Holistic structure for a future energy grid with centralized and decentralized supply elements,” which is coordinated by ITAS, and to SP 4 “Dialogue-based transfer of the ENSURE findings into society.”

The focus of SP 1 is on the systemic evaluation of the ENSURE solutions. These will be supplemented by ITAS with a sustainability assessment. The evaluation will be based on the indicators already identified in the second phase of ENSURE, which were determined on the basis of the Integrative Concept of Sustainable Development (ICoS).

The regional energy transition requires a good governance framework in order to make better use of existing synergies between different forms of energy in the future. Taking into account the results of a position analysis, the requirements and conditions for such a good governance concept for the energy transition at the local level will be identified. The application will take place in two model regions – one more rural, the other more urban. The position analysis will identify the perceptions and viewpoints of relevant stakeholders and citizens in the selected regions.

In SP 4, ITAS plays a decisive role in the development of target group-specific and problem-related action alternatives as an overall result of the project network. ENSURE’s recommendations for action are the fundamental and central result of ten years of research in the project. They are based on a dialogical process of knowledge transfer and on the technical and scientific results of SP 1, which take into account the work in SP 2 and SP 3 as well as the results of Phases I and II. In this way, technical expertise and interdisciplinary project results are consolidated and synthesized. The process of formulating these recommendations for action will be accompanied by internal and external dialogue with target and stakeholder groups and by exchanges with the project’s Scientific Advisory Board (Wissenschaftlicher Beraterkreis, WBK). The recommendations for action will provide validated, solution-oriented, and action-guiding options for the different addressees of ENSURE to support them in overcoming their challenges in the areas of energy supply, power grid, and energy transition where they act and operate.


Dr. Witold-Roger Poganietz
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-28180