Joint research programme »Intelligent infrastructure for the transformation of the energy system«

TNO Innovation for Life and Fraunhofer are working intensively on enabling a smooth energy transition and are determining and analysing the benefits of the innovations, new businesses and economic activities associated with it. By pooling their skills through collaboration, they want to address the unique challenges of the European energy transition by determining the energy requirement and the energy sources to decarbonise all application sectors. There is a particular focus on the industrial sector and the role of hydrogen, as the uncertainties and the need for research into the decarbonisation of industry are high and the use of hydrogen is currently being discussed as an important long-term strategic measure to meet the requirement for climate neutrality in industry in both countries.

Aim of the project

The aim is to create the basis for cost-efficient, long-term decarbonisation strategies in industry and the associated strategies for developing the energy infrastructure. The majority of the collaboration lies in expanding the existing energy system and energy infrastructure models with a focus on specific energy sources to create more integrated infrastructure models for the simultaneous assessment of the energy infrastructure of electricity, gas, heat and hydrogen. The analysis is carried out on the basis of existing and new open-source models. The management and operation of integrated energy infrastructures is also a core component of the collaboration, since more complex and new strategies for operation are needed. The planned activity consists of three core areas of research: industrial transformation, infrastructure development and system operation. Beyond the research activities, contact with other actors and scaling up to a European level as dissemination are also planned.

Outcome of the project

The outcome of the collaboration is to consider and understand strategies for various actors, the regional, national and EU-wide transformation strategies and to link them with industrial transformation strategies and infrastructure development. Solutions are developed to handle the increasing complexity of the operation of an energy system of this type, including market designs, ICT architecture and safety frameworks. The outcome of the project (strategies/technical standards) goes beyond the national level and can form the core of further activities, collaborations and strategies between neighbouring countries and at an EU level.