Research, development and innovation

Energie AG pursues a clear strategy with a view to research, development and innovation throughout the Group in order to prepare itself in the best possible way for the challenges ahead and to ensure continuous further development. The specific focus is the European and Austrian targets for mitigating climate change. In the past few years, these targets have led to concrete guidelines and regulations, which have opened up new projects and fields of research.

Energie AG takes a proactive stance, and is committed to pursuing the latest research topics, in awareness of its social responsibility for future generations and for ensuring security of supply to its customers. In the reporting period, Energie AG worked in a targeted manner on projects related to the systematic analysis of the future decarbonised energy system and on the effects of increasing energy generation from renewable sources on the future grid infrastructure. Other focus topics included hydrogen, flexibility, renewable heat and IT security.

Energie AG also attaches great importance to development and innovation in the field of digitalisation and automation. In times where decarbonisation and the transformation of the energy system are becoming increasingly urgent, Energie AG emphasises the importance of good networking and close cooperation with partners in science and industry. This valuable exchange of knowledge forms the basis for the successful research and development of innovative solutions that enable a sustainable and responsible energy future.

Since 1 October 2019, “innovation”, an important issue for the future, has been actively promoted by Wertstatt 8 GmbH. This wholly owned subsidiary focuses its activities on the development of digital solutions and innovative business models relating to energy and the environment. In the 2022/2023 fiscal year, the focus here was above all on the in-depth conceptualisation of ideas in preparation for implementation and on developing new business ideas. In addition to customer research, several experiments were conducted to validate the business models. Additionally, technology and cooperation partners were brought on board to implement individual projects, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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In fiscal year 2022/2023, research, development and innovation were pursued in the following projects (non-exhaustive list):

Project 567

This project aims to determine the increasing load that the expansion of decentralised energy generation systems, in particular PV, as well as the increased electrification of vehicles and the growing numbers of heat pumps will put on the distribution grids over the next 30 years, and to develop methods and scenarios for coping with the resulting grid expansion this will necessitate. Initially, a forecast, broken down by regions, of the development of the applicable technologies in the distribution grids was created. This forecast forms the basis for the comprehensive grid simulations needed to determine the medium and long-term grid expansion requirements in terms of medium and low-voltage infrastructure. Technical and economic analysis of various strategies for upgrading the distribution grids delivers comprehensive results on the effectiveness of the various measures, such as line reinforcements or building new stations, and forms the basis for efficient and future-oriented grid development.


Due to the wide range of possible applications such as heat and cold generation, heat storage and electricity generation, geothermal energy will play a decisive role in the transformation process for decarbonising industry. The “CASCADE” project aims to evaluate deep and geothermal resources in three areas in Upper Austria (Steyr, Gmunden and St. Martin im Mühlkreis) with a view to supplying heat to the participating industrial partners and the district heating networks of the communities. The key element of the project is that of elaborating a strategy for cascaded use of geothermal heat. The intent is to leverage deep high-temperature geothermal energy to cover industrial demand, and at the same time make this available to district heating networks; this will be followed by the use of medium and low-temperature heat for commercial and residential purposes. Taking the specific requirements of all partners, and the technical and economic aspects into account, the intent is to generate regional synergies while boosting the economic efficiency of the system.

Future Energy Upper Austria

The “Future Energy Upper Austria” study focuses on the development of energy scenarios and on integrated infrastructure analysis for the future energy system of Upper Austria. The aim is to highlight developments and opportunities and derive recommendations in the context of a climate-neutral energy industry. Three different scenarios are being examined in terms of their impact up to 2050. The first scenario extrapolates energy demand based on statistical development factors; the second takes into account measures that have already been adopted or announced by government, such as targets for the expansion of renewable energies. The third scenario applies an optimisation approach to compute the most systemically efficient sectoral energy use. The results are processed in a regionalised simulation across all energy carriers(electricity, gas, heat) in order to identify bottlenecks in the system and develop potential solution options or derive recommendations for action.


The “ECOSINT” project focuses on smart integration of renewable energy communities into the overall system in order to make a positive contribution to managing the energy transition. Coordinated integration and use of flexibility can help to avoid load and feed-in peaks while ensuring resilience. The initial step is that of analysing the objectives, opportunities and requirements for renewable energy communities. An further focus is on designing a standardised, secure, modular and scalable IT system architecture. Following this, the IT system architecture will be validated using simulations based on selected use cases and evaluated in collaboration with the stakeholders. The project's aim is to create an efficient and secure basis for operating renewable energy communities, taking into account the internal goals while at the same time optimising the benefits for the overall system.