Research Unit

Sectors andTechnologies

The Research Unit Sectors and Technologies develops strategies for climate neutrality in the energy, transport and industrial sectors, taking into account their impact on energy and resources.

The scientists focus in particular on the energy demand side and analyse above all, but not exclusively, energy-intensive industrial sectors and their energy demand structures with regard to three central targets: Possibilities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, potentials for implementing resource-efficient and circular (demand-side) value added systems and their implications for final energy demand and resource use. Together with relevant actors from the sectors, the scientists develop transformation knowledge in order to implement medium-term strategies for climate neutrality in the sectors under consideration.

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Research priorities

The Research Unit Sectors and Technologies comprises five thematic priorities:

  • First of all, it records the development of energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions in industry and the other final energy sectors by means of systems analysis. It analyses these with a special focus on the possibility of achieving the greenhouse gas neutrality of the overall energy system and taking into account the technical and socio-economic determinants. A special focus of the analyses lies on the energy-intensive industry.
  • At the same time, the interaction of the final energy demand, especially in the energy-intensive industry sectors, with the energy supply side are analysed.
  • Furthermore, the effects of structural changes on the level of industries or sectors (e.g. as a result of a large-scale introduction of new technologies such as hydrogen-based steel production) are quantitatively determined. In the case of the industrial sector, this would include the analysis of the demand for energy-intensive raw materials underlying final energy demand and the impact of the switch to low-carbon processes and technologies.
  • For the relevant processes and technologies as well as the goods produced from them, the researchers also carry out value chain analyses. These analyses serve to analyse the contributions of the respective value chain stage to energy and material expenditures as well as costs and to further develop the existing systems in the direction of resource-efficient and circular demand-side value creation systems.
  • Finally, the scientists assess strategic technologies for the implementation of energy system transformation and industrial transformation holistically, taking systemic interactions into account. These include wind energy, photovoltaics, direct air capture, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen production. This includes a systematic analysis and evaluation using different evaluation dimensions and taking into account technological developments (prospective evaluation).


Here you can find projects of the Research Unit: