SECTOR COUPLING: THE FUTURE OF THE ENERGY TRANSITION


The reduction of CO2 emissions is one of the most urgent challenges of our time. It is an elementary factor in leading the energy transition to sustainable success. The optimal use of different energy sources plays a role in this, as does a sophisticated on-site coordination of energy supply and energy consumption. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is working very hard on an open, secure and scalable system solution, because fully integrated and automated sector coupling offers the ideal solution. For this purpose, together with well-known business partners, it has founded the association “Open District Hub e.V.”


COMPLETELY NEW BUSINESS MODELS FOR THE ENERGY MARKET

“Researchers at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have outstanding expertise in the areas of energy, real estate, mobility and digital technologies. To master the next phase of the energy transition, we must interlink sectors, transfer technologies and involve partners along the entire value-creation network,” explains Prof. Jürgen Beyerer, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, Systems Engineering and Image Evaluation IOSB. The association Open District Hub e.V. creates the framework to bundle the interests of the entire value-creation network of local supply, including electricity, heat, air conditioning and mobility. Developed under the auspices of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the basis for the “Open District Hub” project is formed by the latest technologies and research results as well as digital innovations—a self-learning energy management system as well as a digital blockchain marketplace and a cybersecurity concept based on artificial intelligence.


“In addition to the ecological aspect of regional, climate-friendly supply, our approach offers promising economic exploitation aspects,” says project manager Dr Karsten Schmidt, Corporate Business Development Manager Energy at Fraunhofer. “New business models can be created for the real estate industry as a provider of energy and mobility services, as well as for manufacturers of renewable, decentralized generation systems such as photovoltaics, storage or heat pumps. Traditional utilities are given new ways in which they can revitalize their existing business.”

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