New data for the energy transition


The NEED (NEuE Daten für die Energiewende) project pursues the establishment of a national energy data platform for planning purposes. Different, heterogeneous data sources are to be integrated. In addition to these conventional sources, data points will also be synthesized using appropriate methods to create missing information. Finally, using these data sources, ontologies (Knowledge Graph) will be used to enable semantic queries and easy connection of different planning tools.

Project description

With the help of the NEED platform, the planning basis is made digitally available in the form of data from different levels and domains and linked with each other on the basis of ontologies. This creates a toolbox for end-to-end planning tasks from the building to the infrastructure, which enables automated, model-based analyses across system boundaries. In addition to an improvement in quality through transparent, digital and verified data, cost and time expenditures for data acquisition and preparation, which account for a share of more than 2/3 in planning processes, are significantly reduced.

With the NEED platform proposed here, the processes in the context of a data ecosystem are considerably simplified and accelerated. Heterogeneous energy-related data sources are brought together automatically and linked logically and consistently across the different sectors as well as temporal and spatial levels by means of ontologies. In this context, no existing data platforms are to be replaced, but rather integrated into the ecosystem as a source. In addition to conventional data sources (such as energy atlases, state offices, grid operators, building data, geothermal resources, weather data) of the different planning levels (such as buildings, neighborhoods, regions), possibilities to fill existing gaps with synthetic data1 will be explored. By integrating conventional data and deriving synthetic data, the NEED platform results in a robust, low-maintenance, and flexible tool for deriving energy measures at different spatial levels without losing sight of the big picture.

Finally, tools and models of the partners shall access the required data via semantic queries and suitable interfaces in order to perform the respective (planning) tasks. Through this, the NEED approach for a transparent provision of current data will be evaluated in particular on the examples of heat conduction planning and the creation of a dynamic energy utilization plan.

Research contribution

The NEED project will significantly simplify and accelerate processes in the context of a data ecosystem. In doing so, the project addresses the following elements:

  • NEED database: this consists of conventional data described and integrated in machine-readable form from a wide variety of sources. In addition, missing data sets or gaps are supplemented with the help of synthetic data. For this purpose, methods are used or developed to extract, for example, solar installations or building geometries from aerial photographs or to derive infrastructure facilities by reconstructing planning procedures. In addition, data and procedures generated in this way must be suitably validated and verified.
  • NEED Knowledge Graph: The abstraction of data to ontologies, the extension of databases to a knowledge graph are in their beginnings with promising examples in other areas. Innovations are to be expected here in the area of interoperability and reuse, which are not imaginable today in this way, but presuppose that there is a completely new quality in the description of data across the various planning levels.
  • Decentralized NEED platform: The platform is not a conventional database, but a data hub: The innovation is based on the fact, that step-by-step complex work steps are automated and orchestrated without having to do it all in one step. Furthermore, obstacles to cross-organizational collaboration are overcome by means of a suitable set of rules for checking compliance with role specifications and purpose limitations.
  • NEED planning tools: The parallelism of planning and data plays a special role. The NEED platform should provide the necessary input data for as many different planning tools, energy models or other energy services as possible. The validation is carried out on the basis of different target groups, with different tools, taking into account the different planning levels.

Project duration

01.07.2023 - 30.06.2026


Dr. Markus Duchon

Your contact

Dr. Markus Duchon

+49 89 3603522 30

Project partner