The Darmstadt Energy Laboratory for Technologies in Application (DELTA) acts as a showcase for the urban energy transition to demonstrate interacting energy-optimised neighbourhoods. The DELTA real laboratory is intended to demonstrate that the technically proven potential for increasing the energy efficiency and flexibility of urban quarters is economically feasible and that this potential is also accepted by society. To this end, methods are to be tested and further developed in order to bring successful technical pilot projects into widespread use. For this purpose, the development of innovative (cooperative) business models is elementary in order to be able to operate the emerging energy system without subsidies on the one hand and to allow all stakeholders of the energy system to participate in the energetic and economic potentials on the other hand.
Within the project, a multi-layered, cross-sectoral approach is being pursued. The focus here is on consistently increasing the energy efficiency of all sectors, which is already seen today as the greatest usable potential of the energy transition. Furthermore, potentials for shifting electrical loads over time are to be identified and used to optimize the urban electricity system and to make optimal use of renewable energy sources. Both are achieved by intelligently linking individual quarters of the urban energy system under consideration and by sector coupling. To this end, it is planned to involve all relevant stakeholders, who will work out practicable solutions in tried and tested dialogue formats.