Energy Transition and Digitalisation between Decentralisation and Centralisation: Regional and Corporate Cultural Perspectives

  • Project no.451242
  • Duration 01/2018 - 06/2019

The infrastructure of the energy transition does not only consist of the expansion of renewable energies by means of high-voltage lines, substations, storage power stations, etc. Successful (transition) design requires intelligent networking and control of the numerous decentralised producers and consumers. Accordingly, the energy system of the so-called "Energy Transition 2.0" is to be understood as a socio-technical energy system that can only be implemented by supporting information technologies, complex control and distribution systems and integrated communication and monitoring applications – so called smart grids. An intelligent, decentralised, flexible networking of energy systems with production and distribution systems, as discussed as "Industry 4.0", is therefore obvious. Digitalisation and the energy transition must therefore be considered together.

The research and concept project EnerDigit focuses on the digitalisation of the energy transition 2.0 with a focus on the aspects of decentralization and centrality. The overriding concern is to contribute to the success of a digital and energy transformation of industry in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The focal points of the investigation are:

  •  the analysis of the decentralised and central elements that emerge in the networking and control of industrial production processes through digitalisation and energy transition 2.0
  •  to gain an in-depth insight into digitalisation processes in the context of the energy transition from a company perspective/perspective of value creation networks (based on case studies of selected companies) and to understand their effects on the operational actors
  •   to develop (action) approaches for an intelligently controlled but decentralised, participative transformation of the industrial sector and the energy sector

EnerDigit is a joint project of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, the Essen Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and the Institute for Work and Technology within the Virtual Institute "Transformation - Energiewende NRW". The work of the Wuppertal Institute focuses in particular on carrying out case studies to empirically examine digitalisation and the energy transition from the perspective of companies and value creation networks (WP 3) and on drawing conclusions and developing approaches (WP 4).

The project is funded by the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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