REal - The laboratory for Integrated Regional Renewable Energy Systems

In the REal project, a holistic, scalable and user-friendly concept is created, whereby sector-coupled, municipal energy systems with 100% renewable energy can be implemented, considering all necessary aspects from planning to operation, reducing design costs and accelerating an Austria-wide implementation.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Decentralized renewable energy is a major solution to achieve Austria's goal of climate-neutrality by 2040. According to the EU's "Clean Energy Package", local energy systems show high potential for the efficient use of distributed energy technologies at the regional level, including volatile energy production from renewable resources.

Therefore, community energy systems are also being pushed by national policy makers in the form of renewable energy communities and citizen energy communities (Erneuerbare Ausbaugesetz-EAG). However, until now there are only limited possibilities to transfer local energy systems into practice.

In addition to the lack of regulatory framework conditions, holistic and scalable concepts or simple guidelines on how sector-coupled energy systems can be implemented are still missing, considering all necessary aspects from planning to implementation and operation. This is also reflected in a lack of acceptance or awareness of the ecological and economic benefits of renewable energy concepts within municipalities, communities and the population in general.

Contents and goals

This exploratory project addresses all these challenges and develops for the first time a holistic concept for the practical implementation of integrated regional energy systems with 100% renewable energy through decentralized energy generation and use of flexibilities.

For this purpose, a regional test area is defined within the "Real Laboratories"-concept elaboration, consisting of several municipalities/climate regions, industry, agriculture, transport, households and local facilities with small-scale generation and/or flexible consumers.

The "Real Laboratory"-concept will describe how all relevant energy flows (consumption of buildings, mobility and industry as well as production in the electricity, heating and cooling sector) and flexibilities of the participating regions can be recorded in a standardized way and stored and processed in uniform databases.


The concept will describe how a planning tool developed by BEST (basic research project: "OptEnGrid") can be used to optimally dimension cross-sector energy technologies (e.g. PV, storage, heat pumps, e-mobility) and to create an optimized operation schedule for these technologies. Based on this, an action and expansion plan for the renewable energy technologies and the associated infrastructure as well as an organizational and processing structure will be created.

In addition to the technical concept development, citizens, communities, businesses and local initiatives will be actively involved in the planning process in order to take their requirements and objectives into account in the concept development. This increases acceptance and promotes small-scale investments and regional value creation.

Expected results

The overall concept developed for the defined model region and the provided energy data serve as a basis for the further development of the planning tool towards a standardized planning procedure and simple implementation plan for an Austria-wide application. This ensures the transferability of the developed concepts and an extensive scalability.

The overall concept "REaL" which could be separeted into 6 phases: 

  • operation & scientific evaluation
  • energy concept & detail design
  • financing and funding opportunities
  • awareness raising
  • engineering & implementation
  • scaling & roll-out

creates the conditions for 100% renewable energy in Austrian regions.

Project Partners

Project management

BEST – Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • Energie Zukunft Niederösterreich GmbH
  • Klima- und Energiemodellregion Südliches Waldviertel
  • Gemeinde Wieselburg-Land

Supporting Partners

  • Klima- und Energie Modellregion Amstetten Nord
  • Klima- und Energie Modellregion Amstetten Süd
  • eNu Die Energie- & Umweltagentur des Landes NÖ

Contact Address

BEST – Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies GmbH
Stefan Aigenbauer
Gewerbepark Haag 3
A-3250 Wieselburg-Land
Tel.: +43 (5) 02378-9447