Helmholtz Portfolio Initiative "Safety and Security"

  • contact:

    Dipl. Wi.-Ing. Kai Mainzer

    Dr. Russell McKenna

  • project group:

    Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

  • funding:


  • partner:

    Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) - Institute for Industrial Production (IIP)

    Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) - Institute for Nuclear and Energy Technologies (IKET)

    Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) - Institute for Program Structures and Data Organisation (IPD)

  • start:


Helmholtz Portfolio Initiative “Safety and Security”

In the context of technological progress, increasing interconnections can be observed in modern infrastructure systems. The change of the electricity generation structure in Germany leads to growing interdependencies between the electricity system and information and communication technology (ICT). As part of the energy transition, electricity generation in Germany is shifting from a centralized into a decentralized structure in which regenerative, volatile generation capacities dominate thermal power plants. Among others, higher demand flexibility through intelligent load management as well as an expansion of smart grid technologies at the distribution grid level shall help to cope with the rising complexity of the supply task. Prospectively this will result in an increasing diffusion of ICT in the electricity sector (e.g. smart meters).
Due to the increasing interdependencies, considerations of the future energy system should include safety issues. The portfolio initiative “Safety and Security” of the Helmholtz Association addresses this need for research by pursuing the goal of performing model-based safety assessments of critical infrastructures. This interdisciplinary project is run jointly by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Research Center Jülich (FZJ) and KIT. In order to analyze supply disruptions with possible cascading effects in electricity and communication networks and also investigate impacts on other critical infrastructures such as health and water supply, future threat scenarios are developed within the project.


Research focuses at IIP (KIT)

  • Development of scenarios for the decentralized electricity supply system of the future 
  • Simulation of electricity distribution grids under influence of large-scale disturbances in interconnected communication infrastructures
  • Assessment of the impact of local renewable energies on security of supply