Research

Our research work is divided into four main research areas, which are briefly explained below. The research foci International Energy Transformation, European/German Energy Transformation and Energy System Modeling are coordinated by Prof. Dr. Pao-Yu Oei with support from Catharina Rieve. The research focus Energy Sufficiency is led by Prof. Dr. Frauke Wiese.

Research focused on the International Energy Transformation

The research focus International Energy Transformation deals with a socially just, ecologically reasonable, economically justifiable and timely realizable transformation of existing energy systems. The focus is on a global coal phase-out, as well as on the transition to 100% renewable energy systems, in countries outside the European Union (for this, see research focus Europe/Germany). We work inter- and transdisciplinary and develop concrete alternatives for affected key regions.

Besides scientific research, we aim to transfer our knowledge to the non-academic world in order to inform the general public about the relevance of a timely coal phase-out and the increased use of renewable energies. Our focus is mainly on the analysis of countries in the Global South, such as Colombia, South Africa or countries in the MENA region, respectively the transferability of experiences from the Global North to countries in the Global South or between countries in the Global South.

We are networked with other scholars from many different countries around the world. This international cooperation enables us to take local perspectives and to develop locally accepted alternatives to the established systems. We research global coal (market) dynamics without losing sight of regional and local contexts. Our recommendations for action consist of new tools and political and social strategies to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future so that local communities benefit from a better future.

The International Energy Transformation research focus is being worked on by Paola Yanguas-Parra, Felipe Corral-Montoya, Christian Hauenstein, Marina Blohm, Franziska Dettner and Imane Boukhatem. The coordination is done by Paola Yanguas-Parra.

Research focused on the European & German Energy Transformation

The research focus European/German Energy Transformation addresses the question of how German and European production and consumption of coal and natural gas can be reduced through appropriate energy and climate policies in order to mitigate the consequences of the climate crisis. Several projects focus on policy-relevant research on socially just and more ambitious phase-out options for coal and natural gas, examining the power and influence of different actors*, gender aspects, and political contexts. Current research projects examine, among other things, terminals for liquefied natural gas in Germany that conflict with climate policy goals, the role of gender in EU coal phase-out processes, and the implementation of socioeconomic aspects in energy modeling.

The research focus European/German Energy Transformation is handled by Dr. Hanna Brauers, Paula Walk, Isabell Braunger, Nora Stognief, Alexandra Krumm and Marius Koepchen.

Research focused on Energy System Modeling

Another research focus deals with research in the field of energy system modeling, with the application of which central questions in the field of energy system transformation, sector coupling, integration of renewable energies and energy and environmental policy can be answered. For this purpose, the research team primarily uses the open-source "Global Energy System Model" (GENeSYS-MOD, git.tu-berlin.de/genesysmod/genesys-mod-public). GENeSYS-MOD was launched in 2017 based on the open-source Energy Modeling System (OSeMOSYS) and continues to be continuously developed. Several international institutions are now using GENeSYS-MOD to gain insights into long-term pathways of the energy system. The goal of the analyses is to combine global and national-regional analyses to answer local solutions to energy transformation questions while considering global effects and impacts. For this purpose, beyond the global, macro-level studies, diverse country case studies are conducted, which can be used to answer relevant energy policy questions of the respective regions.

The research focus Energy System Modeling is conducted by Dr. Konstantin Löffler, Dr. Thorsten Burandt, Karlo Hainsch and Jonathan Hanto.

Research focused on Energy Sufficiency

The research focus energy sufficiency takes a look at moderation, the absolute reduction of energy consumption through social innovations, through the exit from non-sustainable structures and through changed behavior. The basis of our work is the thesis that without sufficiency it is not possible to meet the climate target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, even if planetary boundaries are respected and climate justice is considered at the same time. In this context, we understand sufficiency as an "enough" in two directions: An enough in terms of meeting human needs, the social foundation, on the one hand, and on the other hand an enough in terms of abundance, which makes it impossible to comply with planetary boundaries.

In order to unfold sufficiency potentials, to bring their positive effects to bear and to keep their potential negative effects as low as possible, appropriate framework conditions are needed that enable each individual to live in a resource-conserving way while maintaining a good quality of life. Political and societal frameworks are needed that make the sufficiency-based, climate-friendly, resource-conserving, environmentally friendly option the more attractive one.

Against this background, we design sufficiency scenarios and explore the potentials of sufficiency in terms of reducing energy demand and emissions, as well as its potentials in terms of climate justice, resource use and quality of life. In doing so, we also consider sufficiency in interaction with the sustainability options of consistency (renewables replacing fossils) and efficiency (relative reduction of consumption through technical options) in climate and energy scenarios.

An important part of our research work is the description of impact chains of sufficiency policies in order to be able to assess effects of various policy measures on local, federal, state and EU level.

In our research we use quantitative and qualitative methods. In line with the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, we work in an interdisciplinary manner, together with political scientists and social scientists (including the Norbert Elias Center (NEC)). To ensure the practical relevance of our research, we work transdisciplinarily with various practice partners, because the societal benefit and applicability of our work is our top priority.

The research focus on energy sufficiency is handled by Frauke Wiese, Luisa Cordroch, Bendix Vogel and Jonas Lage (NEC). The coordination is done by Prof. Dr. Frauke Wiese.

Integration into the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (ZNES)

The Department of Energy and Environmental Management is part of the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (ZNES). The Center for Sustainable Energy Systems aims at researching, developing and implementing permanently environmentally and climate compatible energy systems and energy technologies. The research and development work of the center ranges from the details of individual technologies to the development of consistent target scenarios for 100% renewable energy supply systems or the elaboration of strategies to ensure fully climate compatible local or regional development.

The center is jointly supported by various professors from the European University and the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences. It sees itself as an interdisciplinary research and development center that networks and bundles the special research and development experience of the participating professors and scientists in order to provide answers to the urgent questions of the necessary further development of our energy supply, especially against the background of man-made climate change.

The center is closely linked to the teaching in the Master's program in Energy and Environmental Management, as well as in the Bachelor's program in Energy Sciences (HS), and current research content makes up a large part of the content teaching.