Brief pro­file

The Fach­hochschule West­küste — Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sci­ences — in Hei­de in 2018 formed the Insti­tute for the Trans­for­ma­tion of the Ener­gy Sys­tem (ITE), con­cen­trat­ing its exper­tise in the ener­gy tran­si­tion in a way con­ducive to work on inter­dis­ci­pli­nary prob­lem-solv­ing in par­tic­u­lar. Six chairs have been cre­at­ed to rep­re­sent the spe­cial­ist fields of sec­tor cou­pling, build­ing ser­vices engi­neer­ing, net­work inte­gra­tion, ener­gy tran­si­tion law and busi­ness & soci­ety. In a project des­ig­nat­ed Campus100, the devel­op­ment of the Insti­tute and of a tech­nol­o­gy cen­tre is being fund­ed by the state gov­ern­ment to the tune of 3.2 mil­lion euros from the Euro­pean Region­al Devel­op­ment Fund. The uni­ver­si­ty also offers two cours­es focused specif­i­cal­ly on the ener­gy tran­si­tion: a bachelor’s degree in envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly build­ing sys­tems engi­neer­ing and a master’s in green energy.

Activ­i­ties in the real-world laboratory

In the con­text of the project, the ITE will be con­cen­trat­ing on over­all sys­tem inte­gra­tion and the socio-eco­nom­ic issues. Over­all sys­tem inte­gra­tion means that, beyond the con­ven­tion­al sup­ply chain, dif­fer­ent indus­tri­al busi­ness­es will now be required to work togeth­er in a cycli­cal sys­tem, while at the same time ensur­ing that their mate­r­i­al flows are reg­u­lat­ed to match each oth­er and meet mar­ket needs. This pos­es new tech­no­log­i­cal and busi­ness chal­lenges in terms of resource plan­ning and approach­es to coop­er­a­tion at man­age­ment lev­el. The ITE’s work in this con­nec­tion will focus on help­ing to devel­op the scal­ing con­cept and – as a neu­tral play­er – to elab­o­rate bal­anced busi­ness models.

The socio-eco­nom­ic issues relate to analysing the medi­um- and long-term tech­ni­cal, social and polit­i­cal process­es asso­ci­at­ed with sys­tem trans­for­ma­tion, togeth­er with the legal, eco­nom­ic and edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy mea­sures to be adopt­ed as a result. The FHW is to lead this main work pack­age and will be involv­ing the Insti­tute for Cli­mate Pro­tec­tion, Ener­gy and Mobil­i­ty (IKEM) and Bre­men Uni­ver­si­ty under sub­con­tract as exter­nal partners.

Long-term vision

The Westküste100 project is one of the ini­tia­tives to advance Germany’s indus­tri­al soci­ety in the light of cli­mate change and the ener­gy tran­si­tion. This means that not only sci­ence, but by neces­si­ty also indus­try, the skilled trades, and edu­ca­tion and voca­tion­al train­ing must cre­ate a frame­work in which these visions can be realised. The Insti­tute for the Trans­for­ma­tion of the Ener­gy Sys­tem forms the sci­en­tif­ic core around which, in close prox­im­i­ty to the refin­ery, Campus100 is to be built as a hydro­gen indus­tri­al park, with man­u­fac­tur­ing, SMEs, cen­tres of voca­tion­al and aca­d­e­m­ic learn­ing (includ­ing CPD) and an entre­pre­neur­ial space. The pre­con­di­tions for this at the site are ide­al.

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