New member for SteuerBoard Energie

23th May 2022 | Since the beginning of May, the junior research group is joined by Julia Lüdemann as a new fellow researcher. After studying environmental and sustainability sciences at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, she has already gained project experience at the ECOLOG Institute in Lüneburg and is now looking forward to taking the next step with the PhD position.


Julia Lüdemann will investigate the effects of renewable energy plants on local biodiversity. The aim is to use digital tools to measure and communicate effects so that synergies can be considered directly in the planning of new plants. The motivation for this was the fact that an acceleration of the energy transition will further exacerbate the existing land conflicts surrounding renewable energies. Therefore, it is important for Julia to bring the focus of the scientific discussion on the creation of synergies, in order to resolve these conflicts constructively.


The team of the junior research group is pleased to welcome Julia Lüdemann to its ranks and is looking forward to working together.

Publication of energy services of neighborhood storage and the potentials of a multi-use concept published

24th March 2022 | In order to master the energy transition in Germany, renewable energies must be expanded at all levels. At the same time, it also requires technologies for storage and intelligent networking. Battery storage systems play an important role here and are currently being used increasingly at the household level primarily to increase self-consumption. This is both inefficient in battery utilization and unprofitable in most cases.


Multiple use cases for battery storage possible


A study by junior group PhD candiadate Jan Wiesenthal (IÖW) and co-author Frieder Schnabel (Fraunhofer IAO) has now investigated the extent to which multi-use of battery storage can increase profitability and efficiency. The results were published as part of a pre-reviewed journal article at Atlantis Press.


The most promising energy services include electric vehicle charging, peer-to-peer electricity trading, and participation in the balancing energy market. It was also shown that, through flexible allocation, much of the storage capacity can be used for other services. The simulation of two communities showed that more than 30% of the storage capacity can be used for secondary services with only a small loss of self-consumption share (-2%).


Adaptations of the legal framework necessary


The results make it clear, community storage and the implementation of multi-use concepts has untapped potential. Currently, the legal framework especially hinders community storage and should therefore be changed.


To the publication


Exchange on community energy and energy cooperatives in Poland and Germany

23th February 2022 |At the end of 2021, Tomasz Marzec from Adam Mickiwicz University in Poznań visited Lars Holstenkamp's seminar on Energy Communities across Europe. Tomasz Marzec exchanged views on energy communities in Germany and Poland with the research group. His conclusion: things are happening in terms of community energy in Poland - although at a slower pace than in Germany.


In the meantime, something is also happening in Poland in terms of community energy and energy communities - even if the movement is not yet as strong as in Germany. This is what guest researcher Tomasz Marzec highlights during his short stay at INSUGO (Institute of Sustainability Governance) at Leuphana University Lüneburg. Tomasz Marzec is working at the Institute of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Law at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań on the topic of energy cooperatives in Poland compared to selected European countries, including Germany. During his two-week stay in December 2021, he will primarily exchange ideas with colleagues from the research group, take part in Lars Holstenkamp's master's seminar on Energy Communities across Europe, and give a presentation on the law of energy cooperatives in Poland.


Why does Poland have hardly any energy cooperatives so far?


In his presentation, Marzec points out various factors that contribute to the fact that there are very few energy cooperatives in Poland: Marzec rates the conditions that projects must meet as very high. According to the scientist, there are no funding opportunities to help energy cooperatives get off the ground and operators of distribution grids (re)act rather dismissively.

There is currently a lack of viable business models.

The historical experience with state cooperatives during the communist era also contributes to this. As a result, the idea of a cooperative lacks a positive connotation.


Private commitment instead of governmental regulations


According to Marzec, however, there is a growing private commitment to renewable energies in Poland, but more on an individual level. Marzec describes the prosumer movement in Poland as already very strong.


Energy communities in Germany and Poland: An outlook


The presentation of Tomasz Marzec is followed by a discussion about energy cooperatives and energy communities in Poland and Germany. This exchange is to be continued in the coming years. A next concrete occasion is a book project coordinated by Tomasz Marzec. This book will publish the results of the scientific conference "Legal and Economic Perspectives of Energy Cooperatives Development", which took place online in spring 2021 and was organized by UAM (Universytet im Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu).


Digital Advisory Board Meeting of the Research Group

19th October 2021 | On 5 October 2021, the research group met with the project advisory board, consisting of representatives from business, civil society organisations and scientific institutions, for a joint digital advisory board meeting. Some members of the research group presented their first interim results, which were then discussed with regard to common intersections and research interests of the practice partners. Afterwards, current topics on the design of the energy system were jointly discussed in two discussion rounds.


In the first discussion group, Bernd Hirschl from the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) gave a keynote speech on the question: “Energy transition - but how do we get there as quickly and safely as possible?”. To answer this, he presented approaches for a regional energy market design. The associated hurdles and the role of various local actors in such a decentralised energy system were then discussed.


The second slot, on the topic of “Development of Energy Communities in Europe”, dealt with the development of various bottom-up models of energy communities, different regulatory frameworks and financing options in the European context. Among other things, the participants exchanged their experiences with ongoing political processes in different countries and existing networks in this field.


The team of the research group would like to thank all representatives for their participation and is looking forward to further cooperation!


Award for SteuerBoard Co-Leader Dr. Lars Holstenkamp

29th September 2021 | On Dies Academicus 2021, Leuphana University of Lüneburg presented the Leuphana Young Researcher Award to Dr. Lars Holstenkamp for his particular academic successes and the acquisition of a professionally groundbreaking excellence format.


Lars Holstenkamp's socio-ecological research interests focus on the socially important questions of managing the energy transition, its financing and governance. At the award ceremony, Vice President Susanne Leeb praised Holstenkamp's successful work in national and international research networks. She said that these achievements were the cornerstone for the recruitment of the interdisciplinary junior research group SteuerBoard Energie, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) in the funding priority Social-Ecological Research.


Since 2006, Lars Holstenkamp's research has focused on the financing and governance of sustainable development processes, especially in the energy sector. Within the framework of the junior research group, his focus is on the interplay between the energy and financial systems.


More information on the award ceremony and on Lars Holstenkamp


Journal article on community electricity storage in neigbourhoods in Transforming Cities published

24th August 2021 | In cities, the joint storage of electricity in neighbourhoods so-called community energy storage systems (CES) can be a valuable addition to the energy system of the future. However, if the neighbourhood storage is used purely to increase self-consumption, it is hardly possible to create profitable business models.


In the article by junior research group PhD student Jan Wiesenthal (born Knoefel) (IÖW) and co-author Frieder Schnabel (Fraunhofer IAO), potential grid and system services are presented that can be provided in the context of a multi-use by the community storage system in addition to increasing self-consumption. Furthermore, using an example neighbourhood with 75 apartments, it is shown that by flexibly adjusting the storage capacities, around 28 percent of the storage capacity can be used for other services. This is possible even with only negligible effects on the self-consumption rate and self-sufficiency.


However, in order for the potential of multi-use to be realised in practice, the appropriate legal framework conditions are needed. These currently impede both community storage and the implementation of multi-use concepts.


To the publication


Accelerating the energy transition: Research Group develops smart control of the decentralised system

29th April 2021 | The German energy system is changing fundamentally: it is becoming more decentralised and self-organised, many renewable energy plants are taking the place of a few large power plants - many more actors that need to be integrated technically and organisationally into a sustainable energy system. How can this work? The junior research group SteuerBoard Energie of the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), the Leuphana University of Lüneburg and the Ecolog Institute for Social-Ecological Research and Education, with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is investigating how the renewable decentralised energy system can be controlled at different levels.

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