The "Energiewende" in Germany, but also the envisaged global transition from an energy supply dominated by fossil fuels to CO2-neutral energy supply, poses constantly growing and completely new challenges for energy system planners and energy network operators. More and more decentralized energy producers, some of them small-scale, are to be integrated into the transport networks. These energy producers, some of them from new and, especially in the transition phase, changing sources of generation, must be integrated into the transport networks. The coupling of the energy sectors electricity, heat, and mobility is increasing. Likewise, there are increasing demands on the flexibility of transport networks. On the other hand, the security of supply, i.e., fulfilling all transport requirements, regardless of the source, must be ensured at all times. At the same time, investment costs for the expansion of critical infrastructure and operating costs must be minimized to ensure the economic success of energy system transformation.

This working group aims to develop novel mathematical models and solution methods that can cope with this increasing complexity of more interconnected energy networks. Modeling the coupling of electricity and gas via power-to-gas and gas-to-power technologies to optimize a connected system to exploit mutual flexibilities is one of the critical issues.

The underlying technical and physical processes are often non-linear and non-convex, some of the decisions discrete. An adequate mathematical model involves large mixed-integer non-convex problems. Another challenge is to prepare consistent data from a variety of public and non-public sources to describe the problem.

Due to these inherent mathematical difficulties, the algorithmic solution methods must be tailored to the specific problem. The core competencies of the working group range from complex data models to building scenarios to integrate different energy sectors for long-term capacity planning. On these topics, we work closely with partners from industry and various other research institutes.