Sustainability and transformation of the energy system

Which local and global strategies point the way to a resource-saving future?
Icon Sustainability and transformation of the energy system

The ecological crisis has been moving further up the list of pressing problems facing humanity for decades – not only because of climate change but also due to the loss of biodiversity, sinking groundwater levels, the degradation of arable land, and the pollution of the oceans. Despite all the commendable progress in the efficiency of modern technology and all the efforts made so far, such as in the German energy transition, the crisis is far from being overcome. Creative approaches and new thinking are needed, also for better use of scarce resources as part of a circular economy. The concept of sustainability points to ways to ensure that future generations can still meet their needs. However, it must be laid down for every individual issue.

The importance of sustainability in our daily lives and its practical implementation in the international community is one of the central research fields at ITAS. The Institute has developed a special integrative concept for sustainability assessment. Sustainability is also at the heart of real-world lab research, orients our research on the reorganization of economic processes toward renewable raw materials (bioeconomy), and guides ITAS’s research on new technologies and transformation paths for the energy system. ITAS also explores fundamental ethical aspects of sustainability.

Sustainability assessment

The Integrative Concept of Sustainable Development (ICoS) developed at ITAS formulates three overarching sustainability goals: securing human existence, maintaining society’s productive potential, and preserving society’s options for development and action. To achieve these goals, it is important to equally consider and integrate social, ecological, and economic aspects. A particular scientific challenge is the (further) development and application of integrative assessment methods that do justice to the complexity of the application contexts (e.g., the energy system).

Real-world lab research

Real-world lab research and development is the subject of numerous projects at ITAS and is characterized by its transdisciplinary nature. The District Future – Urban Lab, for example, was established in 2012 as one of the first real-world labs in Germany. Other examples are Energy transformation in dialogue, which deals with the participatory and sustainable design of our future energy system, or Climate protection – let’s dare it together, which investigates and promotes greenhouse gas savings through individual behavioral changes in everyday life. A further key element is the establishment of the Karlsruhe Transformation Center.

Bioeconomy

In the field of bioeconomy, ITAS evaluates the energetic and material use of agricultural and forestry residues (Energy System 2050) or products made from algae (PHOTFUEL, ABACUS). In addition to ecological, social, and economic aspects, the focus is on the sustainable use of resources and closed cycles (ALG-AD). The resilience of urban forests and their contribution to livable cities is being studied by researchers in the GreenLung project.

Projects on the topic

To the complete project list

Experts

Further contact

Jonas Moosmüller
Public relations
Tel.: +49 721 608-26796
E-mail

Publications on the topic


2021
Baumann, M.; Domnik, T.; Haase, M.; Wulf, C.; Emmerich, P.; Rösch, C.; Zapp, P.; Naegler, T.; Weil, M.
Comparative patent analysis for the identification of global research trends for the case of battery storage, hydrogen and bioenergy.
2021. Technological forecasting and social change, 165, Art.-Nr.: 120505. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120505Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Bergmann, M.; Schäpke, N.; Marg, O.; Stelzer, F.; Lang, D. J.; Bossert, M.; Gantert, M.; Häußler, E.; Marquardt, E.; Piontek, F. M.; Potthast, T.; Rhodius, R.; Rudolph, M.; Ruddat, M.; Seebacher, A.; Sußmann, N.
Transdisciplinary sustainability research in real-world labs: success factors and methods for change.
2021. Sustainability science, 16 (2), 541–564. doi:10.1007/s11625-020-00886-8Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Parodi, O.
Zum Verhältnis von Technik, Technikfolgenabschätzung und Transformation.
2021. Gesellschaftliche Transformationen. Hrsg.: R. Lindner, 19–36, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft 
Parodi, O.; Beecroft, R.; Albiez, M.; Böschen, S.; Defila, R.; Di Giulio, A.; Seebacher, A.
Wer partizipiert woran – und mit welchen Folgen? Erkenntnisse aus der transdisziplinären und transformativen Forschung.
2021. Gesellschaftliche Transformationen. Hrsg.: R. Lindner, 201–217, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft 
2020
Albiez, M.
Süddeutsche „Umwelt-, Klima- und Konsumgeschichte“.
2020. TATuP: Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis, 29 (1), 69–70. doi:10.14512/tatup.29.1.69Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Emmerich, P.; Hülemeier, A.-G.; Jendryczko, D.; Baumann, M. J.; Weil, M.; Baur, D.
Public acceptance of emerging energy technologies in context of the German energy transition.
2020. Energy policy, 142, Art.Nr. 111516. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111516
Goldschmidt, R.; Fricke, A.; Trenks, H.
Praxisbeispiel GrüneLunge : Die Journalmethode.
2020. MONARES : Leitfaden zur Unterstützung bei der Evaluation von Maßnahmen zur Steigerung der Klimaresilienz. Mitarb.: T. Kaiser. Stand: Mai 2020, 27, adelphi 
Goldschmidt, R.; Fricke, A.; Trenks, H.
Praxisbeispiel GrüneLunge : Die Posterbefragung.
2020. MONARES : Leitfaden zur Unterstützung bei der Evaluation von Maßnahmen zur Steigerung der Klimaresilienz. Mitarb.: T. Kaiser. Stand: Mai 2020, 21, adelphi 
Krol, B.; Schulze, M.; Weinzierl, C.; Klaus, B.; Wilms, D.; Fischedick, M.; Stelzer, S.; Berg, A.; Werner, R.
Lust auf Energiewende – Wie wir den Umstieg schaffen.
2020 
Marcelino, C.; Baumann, M.; Carvalho, L.; Chibeles-Martins, N.; Weil, M.; Almeida, P.; Wanner, E.
A combined optimisation and decision-making approach for battery-supported HMGS.
2020. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 71 (5), 762–774. doi:10.1080/01605682.2019.1582590
Meyer-Soylu, S.
Gemeinschaft und Entschleunigung.
2020. Dein Quartier und Du – Nachhaltigkeitsexperimente im Reallabor zu Nachbarschaften, Bienen, Naschbeeten, Kreativität und Konsum. Hrsg.: Quartier Zukunft ; Oliver Parodi, 101–103, KIT Scientific Publishing 
Meyer-Soylu, S.; Waitz, C.
Mitwissen, Mitreden, Mitentscheiden: Beteiligung und Nachhaltigkeit.
2020. Dein Quartier und Du – Nachhaltigkeitsexperimente im Reallabor zu Nachbarschaften, Bienen, Naschbeeten, Kreativität und Konsum. Hrsg.: Quartier Zukunft ; Oliver Parodi, 51–57, KIT Scientific Publishing 
Parodi, O.
Vorwort.
2020. Dein Quartier und Du – Nachhaltigkeitsexperimente im Reallabor zu Nachbarschaften, Bienen, Naschbeeten, Kreativität und Konsum. Hrsg.: Quartier Zukunft ; Oliver Parodi, 3–4, KIT Scientific Publishing 
Seebacher, A.; Parodi, O.
Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt.
2020. Dein Quartier und Du – Nachhaltigkeitsexperimente im Reallabor zu Nachbarschaften, Bienen, Naschbeeten, Kreativität und Konsum. Hrsg.: Quartier Zukunft ; Oliver Parodi, 69–85, KIT Scientific Publishing 
Seebacher, A.; Parodi, O.
Zukunft jetzt und hier gestalten.
2020. Dein Quartier und Du – Nachhaltigkeitsexperimente im Reallabor zu Nachbarschaften, Bienen, Naschbeeten, Kreativität und Konsum. Hrsg.: Quartier Zukunft ; Oliver Parodi, 11–32, KIT Scientific Publishing