Ivonne Elsner M.Sc.
Member of the Research Training Group CRITIS von 10/2016 bis 04/2020
Dept. 15: Architecture
Section Urban Planning, Subject Area Spatial and Infrastructure Planning
- Kritische Infrastrukturen
- Smart (Energy) Cities
- Smart Grids
The Changing Resilience and Vulnerability of Cities and the Electricity Sector in the Course of the Energy Transition
The energy transition brings about a multiplicity of socio-technical challenges, especially within the electricity sector. On the technological side electricity by often decentral and volatile renewable energy carriers needs to be integrated into the existing electricity infrastructure. System operators generally approach these technological challenges through an increasing implementation of information and communication technology (ICT) applications (e.g. in Smart Grids), however, creating new interdependencies between the critical infrastructures of energy and ICT. Besides the technological challenges also social changes occur due to the changing role of stakeholders (e.g. consumers becoming prosumers) and the organisational fragmentation of stakeholder responsibilities. The mentioned interdependencies can especially be seen in cities. Therefore, the dissertation project aims at analysing in how far the vulnerability and resilience of cities and urban distribution grids change in the course of the energy transition due to the inherent socio-technical changes.
Urban energy systems are currently challenged not only due to decarbonisation agendas but also by an increasing coupling of infrastructure sectors in the course of smart city or smart energy visions. This ongoing transition of urban energy systems leads to technological substitutions on the one hand, but on the other hand also to severe social changes (e.g. the organisational, institutional and economic structure of the energy sector). The temporal and spatial dynamics and alignment challenges which these socio-technical changes bring about, have not been investigated thoroughly yet. Therefore, this PhD project investigates temporal and spatial relations in urban energy systems due to an increasing intersectoral coupling with a socio-technical perspective. Additionally, the impact these changes have on the vulnerability and resilience of urban energy systems are analysed.