System Development & Market Integration Heat & Power


© Fraunhofer ISE

Input and Output of DISTRICT.

Topics of our customers

  • Economic analysis of energy supply concepts
  • Optimization of energy supply concepts
  • Operation and interaction of technologies in industry and businesses
  • Structural and operational optimization as well as consultancy to regulatory topics

Background of model application

Especially at distribution network level, the rising share of distributed electricity generation plants combined with an already distributed heat infrastructure offers new opportunities to develop new operation strategies and incorporate new, flexible as well as sector-coupling technologies. In energy systems with high shares of fluctuating renewable energies, increasing the interplay between the heat, cold and electricity sector as well as the benefit from flexible technologies will play a crucial role in order to secure the stability of the electricity grid. Additionally considering the potential of various energy efficiency measures, with a focus on building retrofit, gives a variety of topics that need to be addressed in order to shape future efficient energy systems.

Our model DISTRICT offers a broad range of applications. Our main focus is to examine the systemic opportunities of regional sector-coupling, flexible generation and storage technologies as well as energy efficiency measures. The main questions answered by the model are the following:

  • How could a future cost-efficient regional energy system and its annual development path look like?
  • Which flexibility options will be used in this energy system?
  • What role do energetic building refurbishments play in an optimized system?
  • How do framework conditions affect the regional energy system layout and operation, especially regarding sector-coupling, flexibility options and retrofitting?

The following features are characteristic for the model DISTRICT

  • Cost-minimal optimization of a regional energy system at distribution network level including the annual development path up to the year 2050 and an evaluation of the resulting energy system
  • Type of energy system model: optimization of energy system expansion and operation including the inner-regional transport of electricity, heat and cold
  • Sectors: Power, heat and cold for all demand sectors (residential buildings, industry, commerce, trade, and services)
  • Framework conditions: various regulatory and economic conditions can be selected and analyzed
  • Regional resolution: from single buildings to regional energy systems
  • Temporal resolution: 15-minute to hourly resolution with a variable expansion time-span up to 2050
  • Programming language: General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS), Solver: IBM ILOG CPLEX optimizer


  • Policy makers
  • Public utilities
  • Energy service providers
  • Industrial and Commercial businesses


  • NEMAR project
  • StroWae project
  • FlexGeber
  • Thomsen, Jessica (2018): Enhancing operation of decentralized energy systems by a regional economic optimization model DISTRICT. In: Energy Systems 9 (3), S. 669–707.
  • Saad Hussein, Noha (2018): A method for evaluating building retrofit effects on a decentral energy system by a sector coupling operation and expansion model. In Energy Systems 9 (3), pp. 605–645.
  • Thomsen, Jessica; Wanapinit, Natapon (2017): Ausbauoptimierung dezentraler Energiesysteme zur Untersuchung von Flexibilitätspotenzialen beim Ausbau erneuerbarer Energien. In: 10. Internationale Energiewirtschaftstagung (IEWT 17). 15.-17.02.2017. TU Wien/Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives, (ESEA). Vienna.
  • Saad Hussein, Noha; Hübner, Fanny (2017): Model based analysis of building retrofitting effects on a decentralized energy system. In: 10. Internationale Energiewirtschaftstagung (IEWT 17). 15.-17.02.2017. TU Wien/Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives, (ESEA). Vienna.
  • Hartmann, Niklas; Thomsen, Jessica; Wanapinit, Natapon (2017): Using demand side management and CHP in renewable dominated decentral energy systems: a case study. In Computer Science - Research and Development, pp. 1–6.
  • Saad Hussein, Noha; Rinn, Lars Manuel; Krüger, Christine; Janßen, Tomke; Biener, Wolfgang; Senkpiel, Charlotte (2016): Possible actions to maximize the usage of flexibility usage in a decentral energy system for the eating and electricity sector. In: 16. Symposium Energieinnovation Energiewende (EnInnov 2016). TU Graz. Graz, Austria.