Project closure

Bavaria on the way to the energy transition: Digital energy twin as a key instrument

Bavaria has set itself ambitious targets for the energy transition: By 2030, the share of renewable energies in electricity generation is to rise to 50 percent, and by 2040 the aim is even to be climate-neutral. To achieve these ambitious targets, efficient and data-based energy planning is essential. This is precisely where the eTwin.BY research project comes in, which was recently completed in collaboration with Eniano GmbH and HEWA GmbH.

Together with industry partners, fortiss has focused on developing a digital energy twin for Bavaria's municipalities, cities and districts over the past three years. This digital energy twin serves as a key instrument that maps the energy systems of the Free State in detail and thus enables precise and efficient planning. Based on extensive data, it enables the simulation and optimization of various energy scenarios in order to drive forward the energy transition in Bavaria.

"The digital energy twin is an important step towards an intelligent and sustainable energy transition in Bavaria. We are delighted that we were able to contribute to this goal with the eTwin.BY project," says Dr. Markus Duchon, Project Manager at fortiss. Eniano GmbH contributed its expertise as an IT service provider and consulting company to the research cooperation, while Hersbrucker Energie- und Wasserversorgung (HEWA GmbH) was able to contribute its experience from specific applications.

Efficient and data-driven energy planning

The starting point and motivation for the research project was the rapidly growing complexity of intelligent and distributed energy systems, which poses ever new challenges for planning and operation. Manual interventions, which have often characterized these processes up to now, are reaching their limits. Digital, data-driven control processes with integrated modelling and optimization solutions offer innovative solutions. These not only enable the automation of tasks, but also the development of economically efficient solutions and the comprehensive integration of heterogeneous databases.

The advantages are manifold: the precise and holistic planning of energy systems and grids can significantly reduce the costs of data procurement and pre-processing as well as considerably speed up the process. In addition, energy efficiency can be increased and energy consumption reduced in the future by improving energy systems. This would lead to further cost savings in the energy transition and support the switch to a sustainable energy supply with a high proportion of renewable energies.

The scientists in the "Architectures and Services for Critical Infrastructures" competence field have therefore been working intensively on the development of the digital energy twin for Bavaria over the past three years. The fortiss experts have mainly focused on the procurement, organization and harmonization of large, distributed databases as the basis for the further automation of energy industry planning processes. In addition, the fortiss experts integrated innovative planning tools with a high degree of automation for the planning of sector-coupled neighborhood solutions.

The application spectrum of the twin covers several areas of municipal energy planning, including inventory analyses, the analysis of network expansion and network optimization potential (district heating) or technically and economically optimized area and district network solutions. In addition, methods and tools were researched and tested, for example in the area of energy refurbishment with increased sector coupling (heat pumps, photovoltaics, electricity storage, etc.) and the analysis and design of heating networks 4.0.

The future of the energy industry in Bavaria

The digital energy twin can be used in various areas, including sector coupling, in which the electricity and heating sectors are combined for energy use. The efficiency and flexibility of district heating networks is being optimized as part of heating networks 4.0. Energy-efficient and climate-friendly districts are being developed much more easily as part of district planning. In addition, the energy twin provides an excellent basis for creating renovation concepts to increase the energy efficiency of buildings.

With these concrete applications, the eTwin.BY project clearly demonstrates the potential of data-driven, automated energy planning for selected areas of the electricity and heating sector. In addition, the potential transferability of the concept to other use cases in the energy industry context was demonstrated.