Current Projects

Helmholtz-Allianz ENERGY-TRANS


The energy transition in Germany and other European countries, the accelerated abandonment of nuclear power, the fast expansion of renewables and the ambitious increase in energy efficiency are major challenges in the transformation of the energy sector as a whole. This transformation is not only a technical challenge, but also has a societal dimension. To develop the sector successfully, several socially relevant problems must be solved, e.g. necessary changes in user and consumer preferences, and the acceptance of new infrastructural features, such as high-voltage power lines and storage power plants. Planning target-oriented policy approaches for incentive strategies and general conditions for required technological innovations are also needed.


The Helmholtz-Allianz ENERGY-TRANS researches solutions for dealing with these challenges which primarily focus on the social needs and user expectations. About 60 researchers from the fields of social and political science, psychology, philosophy, economics, law, engineering and systems analysis are investigating the interfaces between technical and social factors that significantly impact the process of transformation to new energy infrastructure. Across five research fields, seventeen projects and two cross-cutting issues, they aim to generate, in addition to scientific findings, practical knowledge and thus contribute to social debates, stakeholder discussions and policy advice.

The DLR Institute of Transport Research focuses on the growing importance of transport in the context of an energy transition concept resulting from technological developments, such as those in the field of electric mobility. The contribution is embedded in the Techno-Social Development research area. This covers the medium to long-term transformations of technological infrastructures, the potential for new technologies and concepts, and the EU integration of the energy sector in Germany in the form of scenarios.


The contribution of the DLR Institute of Transport Research includes the regional modeling of future transport trends for selected spatial regions in Germany. On the one hand, the aim is to assess the effects of region-specific potential energy supply on traffic, for example through energy policy measures. On the other, it is to determine the future contribution of transport to overall energy consumption. To show this, the development of transport demand for passenger and commercial traffic by private and commercial users is estimated, but also the development of the vehicle fleet, divided into different types of drive, is analyzed for the two study regions.


First of all two study regions are selected within Germany for regional observation using an established analytical framework in which traffic modeling is made possible. The selection basis is a range of indicators from the mobility and energy sector, as well as economic data of each region, which are successively evaluated in a three-stage process. The aim is to identify two diametrically opposed areas - one urban, one rural.

Following the selection of the spatial region, parameters influencing future traffic development are determined. These belong to the field of transport, as well as to socio-economic, economic and political spheres. The various developments the single parameters may show in future are presented by means of scenarios.

The data obtained and the established scenarios are used to model the vehicle fleet composition. The aim is to show the total future vehicle fleet, classified according to power train and vehicle size. After determining the fleet composition and predicting the total kilometers travelled, the final energy demand of the transportation sector for the selected study regions is determined.

As a last step, the obtained regional findings are analyzed and used to derive more general statements and recommendations that can be transferred to other regions.

Contracting entity

  • Helmholtz - Association, Initiative and Networking Fund


  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology : Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis ( ITAS)
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR )
    Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment
    Institute of Transport Research
  • Helmholtz - Centre for Environmental Research ( UFZ)
    Department of Economics
    Department of Environmental & Planning Law
  • J├╝lich Research Centre
    Institute for Energy and Climate Research Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation ( IEK- STE)
  • Centre for European Economic Research ( ZEW)
    Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management
    Industrial Economics and International Management
  • University of Magdeburg
    Department of Environmental Psychology
    Department of Personality and Social Psychology
  • University of Stuttgart: Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Research ( ZIRIUS )
    Department of Organizational Sociology and Innovation
  • Free University of Berlin: Research Institute for Environmental Policy ( FFU)

Project duration

09/2011 to 08/2016

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dirk Heinrichs
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institute of Transport Research
, Mobility and Urban Development
Tel: +49 30 67055-196

Fax: +49 30 67055-283

URL for this article
Links zu diesem Artikel