Energy Transition

At the interface between business, politics and science


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Academic Responsibility

Dr. ir. Dr. h. c. (RTU), Universitätsprofessor Rik W. De Doncker

E.ON Energy Research Center

Contact Person





Tueday, 6:30-8:00 p.m.





Straße Hausnummer


In the module “Energy transformation”, current discourses and challenges in the context of energy (policy) are examined and discussed. Different forms of energy as well as their production and supply mechanisms will be considered. Political and economic interests are considered and compared with the technical feasibility. Different fields of action and approaches to solutions are discussed from an interdisciplinary perspective.

An overview of players in the energy industry, regional energy production in Aachen and current research questions will be developed.

The concluding discussion is prepared by questions from the students during the course of the module. For this purpose the students collect aspects in the first two months, which are discussed in the last session.

Learning Outcomes

  •  The students know the technical possibilities as well as the barriers on the way to CO2-neutral power generation and future-oriented power distribution.
  • They understand the different requirements for distribution and transmission networks and can thus understand the debate on network expansion or network restructuring.
  • They also learn to assess the tensions arising from the complete reorientation of the energy sector and the social and economic requirements.
  • Students are able to look at issues relating to energy system transformation from different angles and are able to conduct reflections on future energy supply.



Greeting and Information

Short presentation of the Cluster SE at the RWTH Aachen University and concept of a CO2-neutral energy supply

Prof. Rik De Doncker
E.ON Energy Research Center

Information about the course

Student assistant


Energy Transition: Goals, ways and challenges 

Considering Germany, including explanation of sector coupling up to acceptance issues

Dr. Frank-Detlef Drake


Hydrogen Economy – considerations of efficiency, application areas and challenges

There is currently a lot of talk about an international hydrogen economy. This refers to the production of water from CO2-free energy and the processing of the hydrogen into methane and other hydrocarbons. One question here is in which fields of application hydrogen or its derivatives are indispensable and where its use could become economically difficult compared to alternatives. The other question is how the international hydrogen economy can be established. So what role can the hydrogen economy play in solving the problems of energy system transformation?

Prof. Dirk Uwe Sauer
Chair for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Systems, , RWTH Aachen


Circular Economy 4.0: Digitization as a fire accelerator or opportunity driver for more climate protection and resource efficiency in industrial transformation?

Dr. Stephan Ramesohl
Co-Head of Research Unit Digital Transformation
Division Circular Economy, Wuppertal Institute 


Selected Economic Aspects and Issues of a Sustainable Energy Transition – English session

Prof. Reinhard Madlener
Institute of Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior, RWTH Aachen


How secure is our energy supply?

In the context of the energy turnaround, the question of supply security often arises. In particular, the expansion of weather-dependent producers and the simultaneous phasing out of nuclear energy and coal poses a challenge to security of supply. This event will discuss scientific studies on the topic of energy supply security from the perspective of both producers and consumers. Subsequently, it will be discussed what level of supply security is actually desirable for our society today.

Prof. Aaron Praktiknjo
Energy Resource and Innovation Economics, RWTH Aachen


Charting the Energy Future – an introduction to trends, scenario thinking and innovation strategies – English session

The energy sector is turbulent and dynamic. Both companies and governments find it complex to navigate in an environment that changes so rapidly, in response to diverse and complex drivers such as decarbonization, digitization and de-centralization of the energy system. New technologies emerge continually and societal attitudes are unpredictable. The uncertainty is further exacerbated by COVID-19. In this context it is good to reflect on tools that help companies and governments to chart a course to ‘the energy future’. These tools include trend analysis and scenario modelling, which both can be used as a basis for innovation strategies. The lecture will address the relevance and limitations of these tools in the current age of transition.

Bert Stuij
Vice President Innovation, Energy Delta Institute (NL)


Energy-efficient building

The success of the energy turnaround depends to a large extent on efficiency enhancements in the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in our buildings. At the same time, recent experience with COVID-19 has increased the health requirements for the rooms we use. During the lecture possible solutions will be shown and discussed with the participants.

Prof. Dirk Müller
Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate, RWTH Aachen


Urban Electrical Energy Systems – English Session

Urban environments are the core of the climate change challenge. The urban electrical systems are major enablers of the solutions, supporting local generation, local energy communities, new mobility technologies and interconnection of different forms of energy.  Quite an evolution from the passive, static electrical distribution systems. Now, what scenarios can we expect? How is energy juggling realized? What competences are needed to work in this new multi-disciplinary domain, deeply immersed in the urban ecosystem? This presentation will provide food for thought to answer these questions.

Prof. Ferdinanda Ponci
Teaching and Research Area Monitoring and Distributed Control for Power Systems, RWTH Aachen


Digitalisation of the energy system – English Session

The transformation of the energy sector is creating more and more the need for smart solutions, i.e. a progressive introduction of control and automation solutions able to better exploit the infrastructure. At the heart of this process is a correspondent process of digitalisation. Digitalisation is transforming also other sectors of the economy but what is peculiar of the electricity sector is that the digitalisation comes on top of an even more challenging transformation in terms of decarbonisation. The presentation will discuss how this process is developing, its impacts and in particular how, all in all, this process in unlocking the possibility of a customer centric grid as envisioned by the European Commission. Examples from large concrete project will support the discussion.

Prof. Antonello Monti
Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems, RWTH Aachen


Flexible electrical Grids for the Energy Transition – English Session

What are the key enabling technologies to prepare the electrical distribution grid for an increased consumption of electrical energy in many sectors while more decentralized volatile, renewable power sources are providing the bulk energy?  The so-called sector coupling provides medium- and long-term energy storage capacities. For example, heat and gas storage systems can be found as “dual use” storages in buildings, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, in demand side energy management systems for buildings and homes.  Furthermore, due to the electrification of transportation systems, most notably of electric vehicles, batteries will be available on a massive scale and can be used to stabelize the grid. Between all these sectors, a flexible electrical distribution grid is essential. With power electronic energy conversion systems a flexible interconnected DC  electrical grid can be realized that is efficient and cost effective and fully automated. As an example, the presentation will focus on solutions for fast charging infrastructure in the urban environment.

Prof. Rik De Doncker
E.ON Energy Research Center



Montag 12:00 Uhr

Titel der Veranstaltung



Procedure/Work method

Depending on the course of studies, module and examination, credit points can be achieved through participation.


Certificate of Participation (0 CP, not graded)
Protocol with critical analysis  (2 CP, not graded)

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