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The Austrian Industry is responsible for about 1/3 of the total final energy consumption. Together with the energy sector it causes about 45% of CO₂ emissions. Energy efficiency and a reduction of CO₂ emissions are thus essential to achieve the goals of the COP21 in Paris.

With the help of Demand Side Management (DSM) as a flexibility option, renewable energies can be better integrated into existing processes and the energy infrastructure (e.g. the electricity grid) can be relieved through optimal planning of generation and consumption. This reduces required storage capacities and increases the efficiency of the overall system. To make this possible, a DSS (Decision Support System) toolbox is being developed that includes the application of various DSM programs. These include energy efficiency, time-dependent tariffs (Time of Use) and the integration of markets (Market Demand Response).

Depending on the process design and customer requirements, the problems are solved with different optimisation methods. For simpler process layouts and manual, interactive production planning, for example, what-if tools are suitable, covering primarily the areas of energy efficiency and time-of use tariffs (TOU). For complex plants and markets, optimisation methods are used that support automatic process planning. The project thus goes one step further in the digitalisation of energy systems.

The practicability and user-friendliness of the developed toolbox will be tested in two case studies – in the steelworks and rolling mill industrial site Marienhütte GmbH and in the Albin Sorger „zum Weinrebenbäcker“ GmbH.

„In the future, process energy will be used flexibly and more efficiently in industry. Optimised planning requires special strategies, which are developed in the project DSM_OPT.“

Thomas Kienberger
Project manager DSM_OPT,
Head of Chair of Energy Network Technology, Montanuniversity Leoben


  1. Project management (EVT): timely and economically successful management of the project incl. reporting
  2. Technology development (AEE Intec/EVT/ENEXSA/Marienhütte/Sorger): Finalisation of the optimisation framework and of the forecasting methods
  3. Preparation of the industrial site steelworks and rolling mill Marienhütte (ENEXSA/EVT/Marienhütte): Digitalisation of the site, data processing and modelling.
  4. Implementation of DSM applications at the Marienhütte steelworks and rolling mill. (ENEXSA/EVT/Marienhütte): What-If-Tool, Optimisation model, Evaluation of future concepts
  5. Preparation of the industrial site Sorger GmbH (AEE Intec/Sorger): Digitalisiation of the site, data processing and modelling
  6. Implementation of the DSM applications in the production plant of the Sorger GmbH (AEE Intec/Sorger): optimised operational planning, evaluation of future concepts
  7. Know How-Transfer (ENEXSA/EVT): Technology impact assessment, evaluation of possible future use cases
  8. Publications and dissemination (AEE Intec/ENEXSA/EVT): Scientific articles, conference papers, workshops, claims & IPR

The project DSM_OPT contributes to the NEFI innovation fields “Renewable Energy & Storage & DSM” and “System Solutions & Infrastructure”.


NEFI Power Women for the Decarbonisation of Industry

08. March 2022

Despite numerous efforts to promote and address the issue, the proportion of women in technical professions remains low. During the week of the International Women’s Day, the NEFI Innovation Network will highlight successful female technicians. They are NEFI project managers or are pushing the decarbonisation of industry with their know-how and expertise.

More information
Project manager
Thomas Kienberger
Head of Chair of Energy Network Technology
Montanuniversität Leoben
Vanessa Zawodnik
Chair of Energy Network Technology
Montanuniversität Leoben
Key facts
Running time:
01/21 – 02/24
Project volume:
€ 1.698.116
Project overview