Sustainable Energy


Environmental Innovations Promote Business

The demand for energy is growing worldwide. As a result, energy prices are rising in many countries. Burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, accelerates climate change. The Innovation Incubator’s research group with a focus on “Sustainable Energy” wants to help reduce these trends. Their goal: to develop environmental innovations that will contribute to a more sustainable use of energy. Renewable energy sources produce no climate changing carbon dioxide and their regional distribution at manageable prices reduces dependence as increased efficiency lowers costs. These strategies offer businesses great opportunities: to position themselves in the market with new sustainable energy services and technologies, while extending their competitive edge.

The project, Renewable Energies in the Northern Region(EnERgioN), for example, is developing business models for regional energy markets. Working in conjunction with more than 20 municipalities and other service providers, the project investigates how virtual power plants can be utilized. Interconnecting eco-power providers, these power plants will store energy and distribute it regionally.
Researchers on the team with Prof. Heinrich Degenhart and Prof. Thomas Schomerus are also investigating whether the Elbe Lateral canal can be used for energy storage. Another example: Inocas, a Lüneburg spin-off that was developed out of the Biokerosene project, which is developing projects for sustainable plant oil production. Their pioneering work in extracting oil from Macauba palm trees, grown by small farmers in Brazil, received 3 million dollars financing from the World Bank’s Climate Investments Funds.

The Thermal Battery is a compact heat storage tank that can store a great deal of energy over a long period of time in a small space.  A team of engineers, natural scientists, and environmental researchers, working with Professor Dr. Wolfgang Ruck, are leading the project. The thermal battery can be used primarily by private households.


Energy from the field: biogas is one of the hopes of the energy transition. Since 2012, operators of biogas plants have had the opportunity to market, at limited risk, the power these plants generate. Prof. Degenhart and his research team help regional farmers optimize their business and financial profiles. 

The research team of the Platform for Sustainable Aviation Fuels is developing a concept of how biokerosene can be produced in a manner that is economically viable, yet ecologically and socially sustainable.


EnERgioN is investigating how virtual power plants can be created using power from renewable energy. These plants are intended to interconnect small regional power generators, to store the energy, and to distribute it in the region.