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Energy supply through renewable energy

There are substantial challenges facing the future of energy supply. Electricity sources are volatile, so how can the security of supply and grid stability be guaranteed in Germany?

Smart grids, energy storage units and load management technology will contribute to demand side management, building a foundation that ensures the energy system will remain efficient and secure in future.

A holistic view of refurbishment

Energy systems

Tomorrow’s energy systems will have to overcome many and varied challenges. Production, distribution and consumption need to be linked intelligently to guarantee a constant supply of renewable energies.

In 2011, Germany decided to withdraw from nuclear power. The final nuclear power station is scheduled for decommissioning no later than 2022. This fundamental transition in energy supply will also necessitate further developments in the current system of storing and distributing electricity. The transformation process can succeed on a technical and social level by integrating a variety of concepts.

Smart grids: New grids for new energy

Electricity highways are among the most vigorously debated projects within the energy transition. They are modern grids that transport wind energy from Germany’s north and east to the south and west.

In future, public grids will have to be prepared for the fluctuation in electricity generation using renewable energies. Many smaller power generation units are already connected to the grid, among them photovoltaic systems mounted on the roofs of houses. They are decentralised systems that feed electricity into the grid. So-called ‘smart grids’ will be needed in order to manage this ‘oncoming traffic’ in the electricity grids. The term describes intelligent grids that use a variety of measures to ensure efficient interaction in production, storage, grid management and consumption. New instrumentation and control technology will have to be fitted to the conventional grid.

Smart markets: Consumers as producers

The demand for new technical systems extends beyond the grids themselves. Consumers play an important role in this respect, as they will increasingly become electricity producers and in doing so will precipitate a greater demand for needs and consumption-based integration of generation and demand. The term ‘smart markets’ describes the various activities involved in this process.

Digitalisation will enable this integration of generation and demand. This can involve installing intelligent measurement systems (smart meters) to replace current electricity meters installed in homes. Not only are these systems designed to measure electricity consumption or the amount of electricity fed into the grid in real time, they can also transmit important information on grid status and other factors to the system operator.

Energy storage systems: For when the sun doesn’t shine

Merely transporting and distributing the electricity produced using renewable energies will not be a panacea. The sun does not always shine, and the wind is not constant. Storing the energy is therefore among the most significant challenges within the energy transition. Hence, the federal government will make up to 200 million euros available in the next few years to conduct research into specific storage technology.

A ground-breaking approach is to link sectors based on so-called power-to-gas technology. This is a chemical procedure that splits water to produce hydrogen, which can then be stored or used as a fuel. The hydrogen can also be converted into methane by adding carbon dioxide, for instance from a biogas system. The methane can then be fed directly into the natural gas network.

Sectoral linkage concepts of this kind produce synergy and contribute to decarbonisation through green electricity. Flexible conventional power plants that guarantee a secure electricity supply are needed to ensure security of supply when renewable energy can only generate lower volumes.

The energy transition as a social issue

Social aspects are of vital importance during the transformation of current practices into a new energy system. After all, the success of the energy transition is decided as much by the construction of new electricity lines, gas power stations, electricity storage units and off-shore wind farms as it is in cellar boiler rooms, electronics shops and car dealerships. This requires a thorough exchange of information, reliable consultancy and honest discussions.

What is needed is a forward-looking strategy that optimises the technical and commercial aspects of the defined objectives and that creates a fair balance of interests under consideration of the general social framework. dena provides concepts, information and network processes to accompany the energy transition in Germany. Together with partners in politics, administration and the economy, it develops solutions and strategies for forward-looking, intelligent energy systems that guarantee a sustainable and secure energy supply. Here, dena mediates the multi-stakeholder processes, advises on policies and strategies and prepares surveys and studies on the energy industry. It is also involved in the implementation of dialogue platforms and the organisation of nationwide campaigns to provide stakeholders and the general public with targeted information.

Our projects

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD)

The BETD is organised by invitation of the German Federal Government in collaboration with the German Renewable Energy Federation (Bundesverband Erneuerbare Energie, BEE), the German Solar Association (Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft, BSW-Solar), the German Energy Agency (Deutsche Energie-Agentur, dena) and eclareon.


  • Project start: 2015
  • Project objective: The BETD strengthens the international exchange of experience on the transformation of energy systems.
  • Project partners: German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar), German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) and eclareon GmbH

Clean Energy Certification-System

Ein Blockchain-basiertes Zertifizierungssystem für grünen Wasserstoff und dessen Derivate. Das CEC-System vereinfacht die komplexe Nachweisführung zur Erfüllung der Strombezugskriterien gemäß RED II.


  • Start: Juli 2022
  • Projektziel: Vereinfachte Zertifizierung für grüne Energieträger
  • Projektpartner: Siemens Energy & TÜV Süd

dena-Dialog Netze

Mit dem dena-Dialog Netze bringt die dena Energiewirtschaft und Politik zusammen, um Lösungen für zukunftsfähige Netze und deren Umsetzung zu diskutieren. Mit innovativen Ansätzen wird so die Zukunft der Energieinfrastruktur mitgestaltet.


  • Start des Projekts: 2022
  • Partner: 9
  • Anzahl Veranstaltungen im Jahr: 3
  • Ziel: Dialog zur Energieinfrastruktur der Zukunft


  • Project Information

dena Study Integrated Energy Transition

The goal of the Study is to make the expertise and requirements of the industry available to successfully design the second phase of the energy transition.


  • Project launch: February 2017
  • Project term: June 2018
  • Over 60 partners
  • Focus: Energy systems, buildings, transport, industry

Advising BMWK on energy policies

Since 2016 (and since 2021 in the second cycle) dena has advised the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, BMWK) on matters of energy policies in its position as framework agreement partner. It provides the consultancy services as the principal contractor, cooperating in this capacity with 15 partners from business and science.


  • Project start: September 2016
  • Client: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Partners: adelphi, BBH, EY Law, FIW München, Fraunhofer ISI, Guidehouse, heimrich+hannot, ibh, ifeu, ITG, Milengo, Öko-Institut, Prognos, PwC, Uni Stuttgart (EEP & IER)


China pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and peak carbon emissions by 2030. This is an important step in the fight against climate change, and vital to the success of the global energy transition. With the Sino-German Energy Transition project (EnTrans), GIZ, dena and Agora Energiewende will support Chinese policy makers and think thanks in the implementation of a low-carbon energy transition and the integration of large shares of fluctuating renewables into the energy system.


  • Project start: January 2021
  • Project duration: 2 years
  • Goals: Exchanging knowledge for a successful energy transition in China
  • Partners: GIZ, Agora Energiewende

Geschäftsstelle Dialog Energiewechsel

Die Geschäftsstelle Dialog Energiewechsel wurde von der dena an ihrem Standort Berlin für die fachliche Unterstützung des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK) im Rahmen der Kommunikations- und Aktivierungskampagne „80 Millionen gemeinsam für Energiewechsel“ eingerichtet. Sie fungiert als Bindeglied zwischen dem BMWK und kampagnenrelevanten Stakeholdern im Bereich Energieeffizienz und erneuerbare Energien.


  • Projektbeginn: 2020
  • Projektziele: Die dena berät das BMWK bei der kommunikativen Ausgestaltung der Kampagne. Die Inhalte und Botschaften sollen fachspezifisch und passgenau vermittelt werden.
  • Projektpartner: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft Klimaschutz (BMWK)

Energy Efficiency Networks

In the context of the Campaign, the German Federal Government has agreed with 22 associations and organisations to establish around 500 new energy efficiency networks by end of 2020.


  • Project duration: 2015 - 2020
  • Partners: BMWi and BMU + 22 industrial associations
  • Project objective: 500 networks by end of 2020:
  • Project objective: 75 PJ in primary energy savings
  • Project objective: 5 million-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions


Kompetenzzentrum Kommunale Wärmewende

Das Kompetenzzentrum Kommunale Wärmewende (KWW) bietet Know-how, Beratung und Unterstützung für Akteure der Kommunalen Wärmewende in Deutschland. Dafür werden seit 2022 kontinuierlich Kompetenzen und Kapazitäten aufgebaut. Ab Mitte 2024 unterstützen im KWW bis zu 30 Beschäftigte die Kommunen und die Akteure rund um die Kommunale Wärmeplanung mit passenden Angeboten.


  • Sitz in Halle (Saale)
  • Eröffnung im April 2022
  • Mehr als 20 Mitarbeitende
  • Im Auftrag des BMWK

Transferprojekt Reallabore der Energiewende

Die dena unterstützt die Transferforschung zu den Reallaboren der Energiewende mit dem Schwerpunkt Wasserstoff durch vielfältige Vernetzungs- und Kommunikationsangebote.


  • Projektstart: 2021
  • Projektende: 2026
  • Mehr als 10 Partner aus Forschung & Wissenschaft
  • Auftraggeber: BMWK