Forschungskolleg NRW

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"Sustainable energy systems in the neighbourhood. Models and strategies between local and global challenges"

2nd phase of the research college "Energy efficiency in the neighbourhood"

Contents and goals

The Research College NRW "Sustainable Energy Systems in the Quarter" aims to develop technical, economic and social control models to increase energy efficiency in the neighbourhood. With its broad interdisciplinary composition and integration into practice (transdisciplinary), the Research College thus makes an important contribution to developing integrated concepts and promoting the necessary understanding between the disciplines and between future scientists and practitioners from different disciplines. Concrete possibilities for action and options should support the parties involved, above all municipal utilities, municipalities, politicians and citizens, in advancing the energy system transformation in the neighbourhood.

In doing so, the Institute draws on the scientific findings and experience of the first phase of the research college "Energy efficiency in neighbourhoods", which has identified obstacles to the practical implementation of energy efficiency measures, among other things. The second funding phase will focus on transformation strategies and thus the dimension of implementation. With a view to the people and their motivations, actor-related and technical models as well as business and control models for the implementation of the energy turnaround in the neighbourhood will be developed.

The complex topic of energy efficiency is coupled with the challenges of climate change, demographic development, transformation of the energy supply as well as the heat and mobility turnaround. It is not enough to consider the electricity sector here, as the heating sector and mobility also have great potential for reducing CO2 emissions. For these three important sectors on the one hand and for the consideration of the acting and consuming actors on the other hand, the neighbourhood is also a suitable spatial reference for the 2nd Research College. The spatial focus of the research work will be on the Ruhr area and its selected neighbourhoods, as well as on the Rhine district.

In view of the demographic conditions that have changed in the last two to three years (especially the increase due to immigration) and the paradigm shift towards growth and urban expansion - even in regions that tend to be structurally weak - the focus of the research college will also be extended to the future-oriented construction of new neighbourhoods (e.g. land recycling, collective uses, new mobility concepts).

From January 2019 to June 2022, 12 doctoral students will be doing their doctorates simultaneously at the Research College.

Research will increasingly take place in four action-oriented topic clusters, in each of which three fellows or chairs will illuminate a topic complex from different perspectives. The new topic clusters are:

- Integrated reconstruction of energy infrastructures
- Activate Actors / Users / Owners
- Establishing new methods for sustainability at neighbourhood level
- Shaping the framework conditions for implementation

The exchange of knowledge and experience with international cooperation partners is strengthened by excursions and possible internships.

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The Consortium

The RWTH Aachen University with the Faculty of Architecture has assumed the role of the leading partner of the Forschungskolleg from the University of Dortmund in this 2nd funding phase through the appointment of Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Reicher to the Chair and Institute of Urban Development. The Technical University of Dortmund continues to be involved with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology as well as the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. The consortium also includes the Ruhr University Bochum, the University Duisburg-Essen, the Bochum University of Applied Sciences and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. A practice advisory board is made up of a wide variety of practical actors.


01/2019 - 06/2022

Project Manager/Spokesperson of the Forschungskolleg

Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Christa Reicher

Funding Agencies

The Research College "Energy Efficiency in the Quarter" is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Participating consortium and cooperation partners

RWTH Aachen University
Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Christa Reicher - Speaker of the Institute for Advanced Studies
Dipl.-Ing. Bauass. Christine Hahn - Coordinator of the Progress College
Canan Çelik M.Sc. - Coordinator of the Progress College
Chair and Institute of Urban Planning; Faculty of Architecture

TU Dortmund
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Holzmüller
Chair of Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Rehtanz
Institute for Energy Systems, Energy Efficiency and Energy Economics ie3, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology

University of Duisburg-Essen
Prof. Dr. Angelika Heinzel
Institute of Energy and Environmental Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Sciences