DFG funds the nfdi4energy consortium, with FAU coordinating the Task Area “Simulation in Interdisciplinary Energy Research”


Improving the communication and exchange of data and software in energy systems research is the goal of the nfdi4energy consortium (National Research Data Infrastructure for Interdisciplinary Energy Systems Research). The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the project with up to ten million euros, initially for five years. The work is intended to make research results more usable so that they are available to the various players in energy system research in line with their needs.

Research data is generated in a wide variety of forms and in large quantities – from historical weather data to predicted parameters of technical facilities and infrastructures to software systems. In order to make such data more accessible, to set standards and to establish them in the respective specialist community, a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) has been set up. It consists of consortia that provide infrastructural facilities for research data throughout Germany. nfdi4energy focuses on data and software in energy system research, which are necessary, among other things, for research on forward-looking technologies related to the energy transition and for the digitization of energy systems. This data is to be made traceable, usable and reusable in the best possible way from the initial project idea through discourse with society to transfer to industry or politics.

The project is coordinated by the University of Oldenburg, and also involves offis e.V., the University of Freiburg, FAU, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS) in Potsdam, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), RWTH Aachen University, the Sociological Research Institute Göttingen (SOFI), and the Technical Information Library (TIB) in Hannover. The Reiner Lemoine Institute in Berlin and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology in Sankt Augustin are also involved as partners.

FAU will coordinate the Task Area “Simulation in Interdisciplinary Energy Research” in this consortium. The overall goal of this Task Area is to give better support for the use of simulation in the energy domain, both for experts and interested non-experts. For many advanced research questions it is often necessary to perform distributed simulations. This allows for instance to combine simulation software from different domains (e.g., energy sectors, markets, IT, communications, mobility), to combine different abstraction layers (e.g., households in a neighborhood, integrated in a larger energy system), or different executables of the same simulation software in order to increase performance (e.g., portions of a grid model on different processors). Typically, such distributed simulations require higher coding skills compared with stand-alone simulations and are therefore not easily accessible. Thus, it is a major objective to give better support for performing distributed simulations by providing Simulation-as-a-Service (SaaS) with the nfdi4energy platform as a frontend.

Weblink of the project: nfdi4energy.uol.de