Data-driven Energy System Analysis

Multidisciplinary data analysis is central for a proper understanding of the energy system and for assessing whether the energy transition is following a sustainable pathway.

Our approach to assessing sustainable development is an integrative one, which means we assess the complex interactions in socio-technical-economic systems with equal importance of the environmental dimension.

The sustainable energy transition requires a fundamental reform of the current way how energy services are being produced and delivered. Most importantly, we see accelerating trends towards decentralized markets and electricity grids, an increase in fuel diversity and the numbers of actors.

All these trends coincide with revolutionary ICT advancements. As a consequence, data mining is reaching a new level of quality and quantity, opening up for opportunities to develop and deploy advanced data science to tackle important societal and political questions.

In the H2020 COMETS project, we build and analyze a Europe-wide inventory of citizen-led energy projects to estimate their aggregate contribution to the energy transition.

In the EERAdata project, we hold a series of workshops to advance the FAIRification and opening of low carbon energy research data. (FAIR stands for F-findable, A-accessible, I-interoperable, R-reusable).

Head of Research Group

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Collaboration with WWF and the Science-Based Target Network to validate city-level carbon emission targets. Cities across the world are engaged with climate action and seek guidance to ensure that their targets fulfill their share of the global effort to limit global warming in light of their local circumstances and equity in line with the Paris Agreement. Guidance is needed to review validity and to ensure the environmental integrity of cities’ short- and long-term targets, as well as their monitoring and reporting approaches. (08/2022-04/2023).

  • The EU Horizon Project WHITECYCLE aims to develop a circular economy to convert complex waste containing textile made of plastic into products with high added value. The public/private European partnership includes 17 organizations. (06/2022-05/2026). The WhiteCycle ambition by 2030 is to foster the annual recycling of more than 2 million tons of the third most widely used plastic in the world. This project should make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 2 million tons and avoid the landfilling or incineration of more than 1.8 million tons of plastic each year. The project website is hosted by the consortium leader Michelin.

  • H2020 Project EERAdata. "Towards a FAIR and open data ecosystem in the low carbon energy research community"(03/2020-02/2023). 6 European partners, led by Valeria & August. The EERAdata project develops, explores, and tests a FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, re-usable) and open data ecosystem in the low-carbon energy field. Shared data and transparent management of data provide the basis for the industry to develop new solutions and for society to choose, monitor, and implement sustainable transition pathways. Project website 

  • The European Green Deal project STORIES: "European ecosystem to advance innovation in energy storage devices". (11/2021-10/2025). StoRIESproject will promote a European ecosystem of industry and research organizations to develop innovative concepts and competitive and less costly energy storage technologies. 16 participants, 18 linked third parties, 13 sub-contractors. HVL is involved as a linked third party.

  • H2020 Project DRES2Markets. " Technical, business, and regulatory approaches to enhance the renewable energy capabilities to take part actively in the electricity and ancillary service markets"(08/2020-01/2023). DRES2Markets is aiming at developing a complete and comprehensive framework to facilitate the active participation of distributed generation based on renewable energy – solar PV and wind energy in the electricity market and supply of ancillary services to the power system.15 European partners. Project website

  • ERASME - Jean Monet Center of Excellence on Sustainable Development and Chair on Circular Economy at the University Clermont-Auvergne, France (since April 2019). Cooperation in education & research.

  • Finalized: H2020 Research Project COMETS. "Collective action Models for Energy Transition and Social Innovation" (05/2019-04/2022). 12 European partners, HVL builds a Europe-wide inventory for citizen-led low-carbon energy projects. 

Recent Publications

  • Wierling, A., Schwanitz, V.J., Zeiss, J.P. et al. A Europe-wide inventory of citizen-led energy action with data from 29 countries and over 10000 initiatives. Sci Data 10, 9 (2023).

  • Wierling A, Zeiss JP, von Beck C, Schwanitz VJ  Business models of energy cooperatives active in the PV sector—A statistical analysis for Germany. PLOS Sustain Transform 1(9): e0000029 (2022).

  • Yousefi, M., Cheng, X., Gazzea, M, Wierling, A.H., Rajasekharan, J., Helseth, A., Farahmand,  H., Arghandeh, R. Day-ahead inflow forecasting using causal empirical decomposition Journal of Hydrology 128265 (2022),

  • Schwanitz, V. J., Rudek, T. J., Hubert, W., Wierling, A. The Development of Citizen-Installed Renewable Energy Capacities in Former Eastern Bloc Countries - The Case of Poland Energies 15, 2597 (2022)

  • Schwanitz, V. J., Wierling, A., Biresselioglu, M. E., Celino, M., Demir, M. H., Bałazińska, M., Kruczek, M., Paier, M., Suna, D. Current state and call for action to accomplish findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability of low carbon energy data Scientific Reports  12, 5208 (2022).

  • Wierling, V.J. Schwanitz, S. Altinci, M. Balazinska, M.J. Barber, M.E. Biresselioglu, C. Burger-Scheidlin, M. Celino, M.H. Demir, R. Dennis, et al.

    FAIR Metadata Standards for Low Carbon Energy Research—A Review of Practices and How to Advance Energies 2021, 14, 6692;

  • A.Wierling, J.P. Zeiss, V. Lupi, C. Candelise, A. Sciullo, V.J. Schwanitz, The Contribution of Energy Communities to the Upscaling of Photovoltaics in Germany and Italy, Energies 2021, 14, 2258;

  • C. Wilson et al. Evaluating process-based integrated assessment models of climate change mitigation,  Climatic Change 2021 166, 3;

  • J.S. Gregg et al. Collective Action and Social Innovation in the Energy Sector: A Mobilization Model Perspective, Energies 2020, 13, 651;

Research Group Members

External Group Members

Student assistants

  • Negar Safara, Shirin Mohammadi, Mehran Ziaabadi, Constantin von Beck, Simon Dufner, Ingrid Koren and Melake Getabecha (HVL)
  • Tadeusz Rudek (Jagellonian University)
  • Timothy Marcroft (University of Lyon)