Transformation of Energy Systems

In the Research Unit Transformation of Energy Systems, we develop, investigate, and optimize future scenarios for a sustainable energy supply.

We consider a diverse range of regional, national, and international demand and generation scenarios and use real load and weather data to determine economically and ecologically optimal generation structures. In addition to conventional heating and power plants, renewable energy plants, and environmental heat, we also include storage and sector coupling technologies such as electrolysis, methanization, pump storage, and various battery storage technologies in our calculations.

At RLI, we use various modeling approaches to map energy systems – it is particularly important to us that these are scientifically recognized, transparent, and, wherever possible, open source. Especially in the field of open science and open data, the unit is very active in the European energy system modeling community and is one of the leading institutions.

The consideration of socio-economic aspects is another central point in the applied research of RLI. In order to promote regional developments through decentralized energy generation, the involvement of local actors and the development of regional business models is an important component in many of the Unit’s research projects.

Header image: Mat Fascione (CC-BY-SA/2.0)


Mascha Richter

Head of Unit


Ilka Cußmann

Head of Unit

Our research focuses on


Power Grids

  • Expansion planning
  • Energy storage in distribution networks
  • Development of tailor-made tools

Energy System Analysis and Sector Coupling

  • Modeling of energy systems
  • Evaluation of expansion scenarios
  • Potential analyses

Open Science and Data Management

  • Publication under open licenses
  • Creation and maintenance of data records
  • Database management

Participation and Knowledge Sharing

  • Workshops
  • Visualizations
  • Stakeholder Empowerment Tools