Researchers contribute to change in energy policy
Increased sustainability – in particular in energy use. This is the objective of the “Sustainable Energy” initiative of the Lüneburg Innovation Incubator. Within the scope of three large-scale and a great number of smaller projects funded by the European Union, researchers are currently investigating how energy can be generated, stored and distributed in a sustainable manner. For this purpose, Leuphana researchers are collaborating with researchers from the international elite with the support of regional companies, administrative agencies and organizations. The research findings will make an important contribution to the energy change in Germany. They will also help promote the economic development of the Northeastern region of Lower Saxony, which is the project area of the Incubator.
Biokerosene, heat storage systems and virtual power plants
The research team of the “Platform for Sustainable Biokerosene Production” are developing a concept of how biokerosene can be produced in a manner that is economically viable, yet ecologically and socially sustainable. The competence tandem headed by Prof. Stefan Schaltegger and Prof. Alexandra-Marie Klein from Leuphana University as well as by Prof. Robert Bailis from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Prof. Roger Burritt from the University of South Australia is collaborating with Inocas, a Lüneburg company.
The “Thermal Battery” research team is developing a heat storage system for private households. The heat storage system is intended to store unused waste heat arising from residential space heating or hot water preparation so that it can be used again by private households. This will save energy and money. To store and release the heat, Prof. Wolfgang Ruck from Leuphana and Prof. Mohammed Farid from the University of Auckland in New Zealand will use chemical reactions. The economic objective of this competence tandem is to set up a group of micro combined heat and power stations in the project region.
Since the beginning of this year, the “EnERgioN” competence tandem has been investigating how virtual power plants can be created using power from renewable energy. These power plants are intended to interconnect small and decentralized regional power generators, to store the energy generated, and to distribute it at regional level upon demand. Headed by Prof. Heinrich Degenhart, an expert in the field of financing and financial business, and Prof. Thomas Schomerus, Professor for Energy and Environmental Law, the competence tandem is collaborating with six researchers from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United States. By looking at the Elbe Lateral Canal, the researchers are trying to find out how the ship lift in Scharnebeck and the sluice in Uelzen can be used as a pumped storage plant.
Researchers joined by doctoral candidates and students
Smaller research projects on Sustainable Energy are currently being conducted by four doctoral candidates from Leuphana: While Lotte Lutz is investigating ways of consolidating energy change in Europe, Lisa-Britt Pfaff is researching the importance of regional agents for renewable energy business. Jana-Michaela Timm is examining how higher education can become more sustainable, and Frank Wessel is dealing with the financial and legal issues related to energy storage on federal waterways.
Each of the four doctoral candidates will receive one of 20 scholarships granted to doctoral candidates involved in the Innovation Incubator. Within the scope of this project, an additional 30 scholarships will be awarded to master’s students. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s program will have the opportunity to find real solutions to real problems of regional companies within the scope of the Leuphana College Practical Studies program. Support may be provided by companies such as the Lüneburg energy consulting firm Klimawerk Energieagentur.
Further research projects on “Sustainable Energy” within the scope of the Lüneburg Innovation Incubator will start within short. Among other measures, three additional Visiting Professor positions have been advertised, targeted at international scientists in the field of “Sustainability and Environment”, “Sustainable Agriculture”, and “Renewable Energy”.