Energy Systems Design and Modelling

The reorganization of the energy system is a highly complex process with diverse sets of conditions and parameters but also with degrees of freedom and possibilities. For this process, a comprehensive modeling of the energy system is essential. Experts at Fraunhofer have developed concepts on different levels of abstraction to provide its customers with exact simulations and forecasts. These range from economic models, technical system and fundamental models through to comprehensive, cross-sectoral system analyses.

Competencies of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance in the Field Energy Systems Design and Modelling

Energy Economic and Energy Technical System Models

The reduction of climate-damaging CO2 emissions is the central goal of the transformation of energy systems. Change processes in the energy industry constantly present players with new challenges, such as adjustments to market mechanisms, changes to the regulatory framework and new technological developments. Reliable planning requires energy management and energy technology models that realistically depict the interaction of all relevant elements. Institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research prepare simulation-based studies and develop economic, strategic and political decision-making principles based on energy industry analyses. In doing so, our experts look at existing systems and markets as well as future developments and their repercussions. In the field of energy economic analyses of energy systems, we offer the following research and development services, among others:

  • Energy economic modeling of systems
  • Sector-specific analyses of electricity, heat, industry and transport
  • Transformation paths for energy systems
  • Influence of framework conditions and acceptance on the energy system
  • Simulation of investment decisions of stakeholders
  • Sector coupling and sector coupling measures
  • Decentralized energy supply concepts
  • Potential analysis, expansion analyses and social science factors influencing renewable energies




For a fundamental transformation of the energy system, a restructuring of the current energy system is inevitable. Fraunhofer ISE is using the REMod energy system model to analyze how and with what effects this will take place.



The power model »ENTIGRIS« is an expansion planning model for European and North African power systems. The results can be used to analyze and expand power plants, grid capacities and total system costs.



The overall goal of the project is to develop and demonstrate a sustainable AU-EU energy system modeling ecosystem based on open source software and freely available data.

Cross-sectoral System View

Energy systems around the world are undergoing radical change: In recent years, the share of renewable energies in electricity generation has risen massively. In the context of sector coupling, their importance is also increasing in the areas of heat and mobility. This comprehensive restructuring of the energy system can only be successful through a holistic and forward-looking approach. Institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research use sound techno-economic system analyses to answer pressing questions from economic and political players: How can a cost-efficient use of renewable energy resources be achieved in different regions? How can technologies be combined to best meet energy demands? At which points should such developments be supported by the state? In the context of the cross-sectoral system view, a particular focus is on cities and municipalities, which are important drivers of innovation on the way to efficient, attractive and environmentally friendly living spaces.




»TransDE - Transformation of the German Infrastructure by 2050 in Harmony with the Energy Transformation of all Consumption Sectors« shows regional differences in the generation and consumption of energy.



»TrafoKommunE – Transformation process for the municipal energy transition« aims to improve the transfer of research findings concerning the energy transition to municipal environments in practical settings.



The aim of the project »DeV-KopSys-2 – Decarbonization of transport – energy system feedbacks« is to investigate the role of technology options for achieving climate targets in transport against the background of interactions using model-based scenarios.


Norddeutsches Reallabor

The aim of the »Northern German Regulatory Sandbox« is to simulate the existing energy infrastructures in the model region and then, on this basis, to investigate various approaches for integrating sector-coupling systems.


Energy Seeds

Within the framework of SEEDs, the implementation of sustainable energy generation, storage and supply for industrial plants is being researched under the motto »Departure into the industrial energy transition« (more information in German).

Scenarios / Forecasts

Simulations and forecasts relating to the power grid as well as generation and consumption create the basis for the further development and expansion of the future energy system. In addition to modeling the development paths of energy systems, the institutes of Fraunhofer Energy Research also deal with forecasting and projection systems for wind and solar energy. With the decentralization of renewable energies in mind, researchers are also analyzing how small and distributed electrical energy storage systems can contribute to the grid integration of decentralized generators. Social acceptance is also included in the considerations.




In the project »InteRessE« an interdisciplinary assessment of the resource requirements for the energy transition is developed. Taking into account various criteria, the project aims to evaluate the characteristics for an optimal energy system.



The aim of the project »KomMA-P – Strengthening Acceptance of the Energy Transformation« was to investigate the role of people-oriented and easily accessible participation offering in the energy transformation  in more detail.


Bottom-up study

The aim is to analyze and evaluate different decarbonization pathways for the heating market. The bottom-up approach of the study takes into account regional and local differences in building and process heat in four differently shaped supply areas.

Operational, System and Structural Optimization

Operational, system and structural optimization are key approaches in the energy sector for increasing efficiency and making better use of resources. Operational optimization focuses on improving the performance of individual energy plants and processes. System optimization aims to optimize the integration of different energy sources and systems; and structural optimization deals with the redesign of energy infrastructures and markets. These approaches are crucial to tackling the challenges of climate change and shaping a sustainable energy future that is economical, profitable and environmentally friendly.




In the »100 % Climate Protection Master Plan« project, Fraunhofer IBP is using the »KomMod« energy system model to analyze how the energy demand in Frankfurt can be reduced and covered by renewable energies (more information in German).


Transformation pathways in the heat sector

The project aims to combine the requirements of the energy transition and the design of sector coupling of district heating systems (more information in German).



»SOBeKo – Power Market-Oriented Optimization of Operation Concepts for Wind Farms« tries to pick up developments in the operation management of an offshore wind farm with the help of simulations in the operation phase.