InteRessE – Resource Demand for the Energy Transformation

Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Scenarios to Supply Electricity and Heat

Duration: 12/2018 - 05/2022
Contracting Authority/ Sponsors:
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)
Project Partners: Universität Augsburg: Institut für Materials Resource Management (MRM), Universität Stuttgart : Institut für Akustik und Bauphysik (IABP), Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI
Project Focus:

The “InteRessE” project develops an interdisciplinary evaluation of the resource requirements for the energy transition.

Taking into account the technologies and components for the provision, transmission and storage of electricity and heat in the building sector and for the reduction of energy demand in the building sector, this research project aims to evaluate the characteristics for an energy system that is optimal in terms of resource strategy. The economic, ecological and social opportunities and risks of energy scenarios with regard to their resource requirements up to 2050 will be examined.

For the political goal of the energy transition, various expansion paths or energy scenarios, each described as "optimal", will be discussed. This applies both to the electricity sector and to the heating sector. What they all have in common is that they lack a well-founded resource-strategic evaluation as well as feedback of the evaluation results to the optimization of the expansion paths of the German energy supply system. This research project serves to close this gap. Its aim is to carry out an interdisciplinary evaluation of the resource requirements for the energy transition in order to be able to take these results into account when optimizing expansion paths in the energy system.

The following concrete questions are dealt with in the project:

  • What is the material composition of the energy technologies and components necessary for the further development of the energy system? What is the total material requirement for the energy transition?
  • Which economic, resource-strategic, social and ecological impacts do different resource-efficient technology compositions have in the existing scenarios to future renewable energy systems for Germany?
  • What are the main macroeconomic, microeconomic and capital market-based price drivers for resources?

Within the research project, the entire life cycle of the technologies is considered; in addition to the material input factors required for the production of the technologies, the possible reuse or disposal of resources and waste at the end of the use phase is investigated. Consistent life cycle assessment models are developed with a suitable interface for the energy scenarios, so that development paths can be mapped dynamically both at the technology level (e.g. change in efficiency) and at the system level (e.g. growing expansion rates).