Research Project


Integrated network planning for the electricity, gas and heat sectors


In this sub-project "iNeP - Integrated Network Planning" of the joint project "NRL - North German Real Laboratory", a planning methodology, a planning model and a corresponding planning tool are being developed, which consider the networks of the three energy carriers electricity, gas and heat of the industrial metropolis of Hamburg in an integrated manner with regard to favorable interconnection points and technologies as well as expansion recommendations for the network structures and storage facilities. For this purpose, real final energy demands and forecasts as well as data on already existing network infrastructures will first be collected. A methodology will be developed to compare different grid expansion alternatives. The basis for operational planning is a newly developed aggregated model for integrated network planning, taking into account the physical constraints of the various energy sources. As a result of the methodology and model application, recommendations for coordinated grid expansion will be derived. For this purpose, a computer-aided procedure including the testing of artificial intelligence methods will be developed.

Content of the superordinate joint cooperation project "NRL - North German Real Laboratory"

In the North German Real Laboratory, the participating project partners are researching how the local energy system can be developed holistically. Distributed across four geographical focal points in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, they will develop concepts for integrated sector coupling with a focus on hydrogen and work out energy-efficient neighborhood solutions in the heating sector. The joint project involves partners from business, science and politics who represent the entire energy value chain - from generation to transport and storage to energy consumption. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding the North German Real Laboratory with more than 52 million euros over a period of five years.

The linchpin of the project will be so-called "green" hydrogen, i.e. hydrogen produced from the electrolysis of water using renewable electricity. In industry, for example, this hydrogen can replace natural gas and avoid the carbon dioxide emissions associated with burning natural gas. But hydrogen can also become the fuel of the future in private households: To this end, the conversion of the gas distribution network to hydrogen operation, among other things, is to be investigated as part of the North German Real Laboratory. To advance the heat transition, the project partners also want to use the waste heat from a waste incineration plant and an industrial plant to feed it into an existing district heating pipeline. All these measures could save a total of more than 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year in the future.




Johannes Heise

Marwan Mostafa



01.04.2021 to 31.03.2026

Funding organization

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)


Supplementary information and publications

from: Research Information System TUHH Open Research (TORE)