Identification of Potential Off-Grid Municipalities with 100% Renewable Energy Supply for Future Design of Power Grids

Jann Michael Weinand, Sabrina Ried, Max Kleinebrahm, Russell McKenna, Wolf Fichtner

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


An increasing number of municipalities are striving for energy autonomy. This study determines in which municipalities and at what additional cost energy autonomy is feasible for a case study of Germany. An existing municipal energy system optimization model is extended to include the industrial, commercial and personal transport sectors. Multiple regression methods are benchmarked in order to identify the model best suited for the transfer of individual optimization results to a large proportion of German municipalities. The resulting levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from the optimization of representative case study municipalities are transferred using energy-relevant indicators. The study demonstrates that energy autonomy is technically feasible in 6,314 (56%) municipalities. Thereby, the LCOEs increase in the autonomous case on average by 0.41 /kWh compared to the minimum cost scenario. Apart from energy demand, base-load-capable bioenergy and deep geothermal energy appear to have the greatest influence on the LCOEs. Overall, it appears that municipal energy autonomy is not economically viable under current framework conditions. This study represents a starting point for defining possible scenarios in studies of future national energy system or transmission grid expansion planning, which for the first time consider completely energy autonomous municipalities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Optimization
  • Planning
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Power grids
  • Energy consumption
  • Economics


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of Potential Off-Grid Municipalities with 100% Renewable Energy Supply for Future Design of Power Grids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this