Düsseldorf - More energy is converted and used in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) than in any other federal German state. The long tradition of using natural resources has given rise to broad expertise in energy technology in NRW. NRW is home to a dense network of research institutes as well as a large number of companies offering innovative energy products and services aimed at increasing energy efficiency and using renewable energies. NRW is the ideal location for many forward-thinking companies – from the extraction of energy resources to the end energy user. In order to build on its leading position and meet its energy policy objectives (climate protection, resource conservation, economic efficiency and security of supply), the state has set up EnergieAgentur.NRW (Energy Agency NRW), an instrument with a wide range of competencies. (www.energieagentur.nrw.de)
EnergieAgentur.NRW manages the clusters EnergieRegion.NRW (Energy Region NRW) (www.energieregion.nrw.de) and EnergieForschung.NRW “CEF.NRW” (Energy Research NRW) (www.cef.nrw.de). In addition, EnergieAgentur.NRW provides energy consulting services in the form of initial and contract consulting for companies and administrations as well as information and training courses for specialists and private individuals. User behaviour training is also part of its scope of activity.
General funding: In the state funding programme progres.nrw Markteinführung (Progress NRW Market Launch), more than 115,000 individual projects were supported with over EUR 890 million from state and EU funds between the programme’s launch and the end of 2019. (www.progres.nrw.de).
Share in German power consumption and primary energy consumption: Around 42 percent of the gross power consumption and thus around 15 percent of the total primary energy consumption in Germany came from renewable energies in 2019. (NRW in 2019: Renewable energies made up around 16 percent of power consumption and around 5 percent of primary energy consumption). In first place for nationwide power generation from renewable energies in 2019 is wind energy, which accounts for over 22 percent of gross power generation in Germany. This is followed by biomass at around 8 percent, photovoltaics at 8 percent and hydroelectric power at 3 percent. This means that renewable energies are once again the most important power producer nationwide. This was followed in 2019 by lignite at around 20 percent, natural gas at 15 percent, nuclear energy at 13 percent and hard coal at 10 percent.
In terms of total primary energy consumption (electricity, heat, mobility) in Germany in 2019, mineral oil accounts for 35 percent, natural gas 25 percent, renewable energies 15 percent, lignite 9 percent, hard coal just under 9 percent and nuclear energy 6 percent. (www.ag-energiebilanzen.de; www.bmwi.de; www.erneuerbare-energien.de)
Jobs: According to the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, the operation of renewable energy plants generated EUR 16.8 billion in economic impulses nationwide in 2018. Some EUR 13.5 billion were invested. In 2017, renewable energies secured around 317,000 jobs (of which around 163,000 in investments and exports, 82,000 in operation and maintenance and 72,000 in providing fuels). In 2017, more than 4,500 companies in NRW employed around 44,000 people in the field of renewable energies. (www.foederal-erneuerbar.de; www.wirtschaft.nrw; www.bmwi.de; www.bmub.bund.de; www.lee-nrw.de; www.ag-energiebilanzen.de; www.erneuerbare-energien.de)
Mining industry: The Mining Industry Network organised by EnergieAgentur.NRW with over 600 members focuses on the mining supply industry and securing raw materials. Supported by the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, it helps companies in NRW to branch into new fields of business and international markets. Further goals are to promote sales success by using market-oriented technologies and to help open up other market segments from a neutral position. In addition to the successful activities abroad, the Processes and Alliances Working Group has been established and the existing Mine Gas Working Group has been integrated into the Mining Industry Network. Other important topics include training and development, occupational safety and environmental protection, and follow-up mining activities following the closure of mines. The network works in close cooperation with existing associations and institutions such as the VDMA Mining (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association), the Fachvereinigung Auslandsbergbau (Association of International Mining), the Deutsche Rohstoffagentur (German Raw Materials Agency) and the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad. In addition, there is a steady partnership with universities such as the RWTH Aachen and the TH Agricola Bochum (www.energieagentur.nrw/bergbau)
Fuel Cell, Hydrogen and Electricmobility Network: Hydrogen and fuel cell technology as well as battery electric mobility are important key technologies in all areas of the energy and transport system. The Fuel Cell, Hydrogen and Electromobility Network of the state of NRW brings together more than 500 primarily medium-sized companies and research institutions. The network supports this technology and the initiation and expert monitoring of cooperation projects, including the current “Model Municipalities/Model Region Hydrogen Mobility NRW” and “HyLand” competitions of the federal government. So far, the state and the EU (European Regional Development Fund – ERDF) have provided almost EUR 170 million to over 140 projects in fuel cell and hydrogen technology. In addition, further projects in NRW have been provided with content-based support with federal funding via the National Innovation Programme (NIP) and the European FCH JU programme within the framework of Horizon 2020. The spectrum of topics covered by the projects ranges from the development of individual system components such as compressors and sensors to the development and testing of complex products such as buses and filling stations.
In the field of battery electric mobility, based on programmes of the Federal Ministry of Transport, some 210 projects with a funding volume of around EUR 110 million have been launched and supported in various areas in almost 90 towns since 2009. The topics of integrating renewable energies into the transport sector, the use of electric vehicles in commercial and municipal fleets and the development of municipal and corporate electromobility concepts are supported. In these projects, around 4,400 vehicles and some 6,700 charging points have so far been funded in NRW by the Federal Ministry of Transport.
All of the state’s electromobility activities are bundled under the term “ElektroMobilität NRW” (Electromobility NRW), an umbrella brand of the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs. Here, EnergieAgentur.NRW and the centre of competence ElektroMobilität NRW are working on behalf of the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs on the further development of electromobility in the state of NRW – supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
In the course of the energy transition programme (“Energiewende”), hydrogen will play an increasingly important role in future energy supply as a storage medium (“power-to-gas”). Using fuel cells, the stored hydrogen can be converted back into electricity highly efficiently and used as an input material in industry or as “domestic fuel” in fuel cell vehicles for emission-free mobility. This was also taken into account in the Hydrogen Study NRW, which presents good conditions for hydrogen with regard to the sector coupling necessary in the energy sector. To this end, the almost 20 existing H2 filling stations in NRW will be joined by three bus depot filling stations and made available to the growing number of cars and bus fleets in public transport.
In addition, stationary fuel cell applications can be used, for example, in boiler rooms for combined heat and power generation (CHP) (around 6,000 in Germany) or for uninterrupted or off-grid self-sufficient power supply, including for mobile phone masts. Investments in a CHP system with fuel cells can be promoted with attractive terms. (www.energieagentur.nrw/netzwerk/brennstoffzelle-wasserstoff-elektromobilitaet; www.elektromobilitaet.nrw)
Energy initial consulting: In 2019, EnergieAgentur.NRW engineers carried out more than 488 consultations for companies and municipalities throughout the state.
Municipalities: 95 NRW municipalities/districts are taking part in the energy management procedure “European Energy Award” and 359 municipalities use the CO2 balancing tool. Around 1,000 subscribers use the online newsletter “Rund.Brief Kommunen” to find out the latest news on municipal climate protection. The year 2019 was marked by the climate emergency resolutions of the NRW municipalities, and EnergieAgentur.NRW provided active support at regional forums with content on power and heat from renewable energies and workshops and conferences on topics such as climate-neutral procurement and electromobility as well as energy efficiency, energy management and climate protection in municipalities. Almost 1,000 participants from the municipalities could be reached in this way. A comprehensive compendium for the direct implementation of climate protection measures is available to public administration at www.energieagentur.nrw/tool/handbuch-klimaschutz. With the best practice database “KommEN” at www.energieagentur.nrw/klimaexpo, suitable, good climate protection examples can also be found, with details of the contacts in municipalities.
Companies: In their consultations on energy efficiency, both independent engineers and the consultants of EnergieAgentur.NRW observe that the proposed measures are not always put into action. The joint search for causes and remedies led to both groups collaborating in the Network for Engineering Offices. The aim of the strategic partnership is to exploit shared potential so that companies implement more energy efficiency projects. Within the network, there are twice-yearly round table meetings where the primary focus is an exchange of opinions and experience between EnergieAgentur.NRW and the independent energy consultants. The network also has an online platform for engineering offices on the EnergieAgentur.NRW website for a faster exchange of information and opinions. At the core of the network is cooperative consulting. As part of the cooperative consulting, the initial consulting by EnergieAgentur.NRW and the detailed consulting by the independent consultants from engineering offices are to be linked up. EnergieAgentur.NRW has developed a Letter of Intent (LOI) which lays down the criteria and conditions for participating in the “Cooperative Consulting” project. (www.energieagentur.nrw/energieeffizienz/unternehmen/netzwerk_fuer_ingenieurbueros)
There is helpful software available for systematic energy management within a company, as well as the updated EMS.Marktspiegel (Energy Management System Market Report), which makes it easier to select the right programme (www.energieagentur.nrw/energieeffizienz/unternehmen/ems.marktspiegel)
The Kurz-Energiecheck (Short Energy Check) provides an initial assessment of a company’s energy consumption compared to the industry average.
Energy-efficient building refurbishment: Energy-efficient buildings are setting the trend. Between the beginning of 2006 and September 2019, around 143,000 state-wide loan applications totalling approx. EUR 10 billion were approved by the KfW (Development Loan Corporation) to finance energy-efficient building refurbishments. This allowed for the refurbishment of more than 485,000 residential units in NRW. In the same period, almost 171,000 applications for subsidies for energy-efficient building refurbishments were submitted totalling over EUR 320 million. These have made it possible to carry out energy-efficient refurbishment measures in around 349,000 residential units in NRW. (www.energieagentur.nrw/modernisierung)
ALTBAUNEU (New Old Buildings): This is a joint initiative between municipalities and districts in NRW. It supports participating local authorities in advising their citizens and building owners on how to carry out energy-efficient building renovation measures sensibly. Ten rural districts and twenty independent towns and municipalities are participating in the ALTBAUNEU project. These represent more than 50 percent of the population of NRW. The initiative is coordinated centrally by EnergieAgentur.NRW, supported by the NRW consumer advice centre and “Handwerk in NRW” (Trades in NRW), and implemented locally in the participating local authorities. (www.alt-bau-neu.de)
Energiesparer NRW (NRW Energy Savers): Between 2003 and 2019, 4,014 “Energy Saver NRW” plaques were awarded throughout the state. The NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs awards the plaque to buildings that, in an exemplary manner, manage with low energy consumption or use renewable energies. EnergieAgentur.NRW coordinates this campaign. (www.energieagentur.nrw/gebaeude/auszeichnung_fuer_ihr_haus)
Energieatlas.NRW (Energy Atlas NRW): The Energieatlas NRW specialist information system from the NRW State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection is a state-wide platform providing information on the existence, expansion possibilities and potential of renewable energies in NRW. Since 2012, around 250 users have been using the state government’s data and planning bases on power and heat generating plants under www.energieatlas.nrw.de every day. Using various thematic maps, citizens can search for potential areas for new renewable energy plants and directly enter the planning process. For example, the Wind Planning Map makes it easier to search for areas by adding restricted and off-limit areas and allows an initial yield estimation using a wind yield calculator. The Heat Register displays renewable and efficient heat sources as well as heat sinks. One new feature is data on industrial waste heat. The next step will be the successive integration of heat networks, so that in the future a local comparison between heat source and heat sink can be carried out in much greater detail. In the state-wide Solar Roof Register, all NRW citizens can view the solar potential of their residential or office building roof and calculate the economic efficiency of a solar system. Another completely new feature is the Energy Data NRW section, in which more than 80 diagrams and tables illustrate the status of the energy transition programme in NRW. (www.energieatlas.nrw.de, www.solarkataster.nrw.de)
Energy information: The quarterly magazine “innovation & energie” has 26,000 subscribers and readers per issue; the English-language edition had an annual circulation of 28,000 copies in 2019, which were used, for example, within the foreign trade activities of EnergieAgentur.NRW.
The e-mail newsletter is sent to over 15,000 subscribers every week. In addition, there are special issues of the newsletter on particular topics. The family of websites with the main page www.energieagentur.nrw is one of the most visited sites in the energy sector: in 2019 the websites of EnergieAgentur.NRW and various themed portals recorded over two million page views and more than 770,000 visitors. The online media of EnergieAgentur.NRW currently include 36 online tools with a total of almost 680,000 users and over one million sessions. Almost 190,000 brochures were downloaded as PDF files from the EnergieAgentur.NRW website and more than 54,000 printed brochures were sent by post. There are currently 290 different publications available in total.
The Twitter account @eanrw had over 8,000 followers at the end of the year. A total of 1,362 Tweets were sent with a reach of over 2 million. The Facebook page “EA.NRW” has 1,980 followers, a reach of almost 255,000 and 925 posts. On EnergieAgentur.NRW’s business page on Facebook, relevant content is communicated under the slogan “Climate protection – made in NRW”. There were 789 followers in the reporting period. The reach of the page is almost 15,000 followers and there were 238 posts. There is another EA.NRW Facebook page with 244 followers about the “EnergieJobs.NRW” project. The business page on XING had 537 subscribers in the reporting period. The LinkedIN business page developed in 2017 had 634 followers, and the Instragram page developed in 2018 had 545 followers and a reach of almost 28,000.
The success of the EA.TV instrument is reflected in the following figures: there are currently 155 self-produced videos on EnergieAgentur.NRW’s YouTube channel. Nine new films were released in the reporting period. The channel has almost 2,800 subscribers. EA.TV films had over 560,000 views altogether in 2019. The playback time was almost 21,000 hours. (www.energieagentur.nrw)
Energy-efficient and Solar Construction Network: Energy-efficient construction and refurbishment of buildings plays an important role, since one third of the total final energy consumption in Germany is needed for heating rooms and producing hot water in buildings. The Energy-efficient and Solar Construction Network pursues a project-oriented approach, which primarily involves the initiation and dissemination of best practice projects. In the network, innovation transfer and information transfer take place, among other things, via the network meetings, where innovative technologies and concrete project results are presented and the exchange of experience between multipliers in the building sector is supported.(www.energieagentur.nrw/netzwerk/energieeffizientes-und-solares-bauen)
With the aim of implementing climate protection measures not only in building planning, but also at urban development level, the project “100 Climate Protection Housing Estates in North Rhine-Westphalia” was developed as part of the network activity. In the climate protection housing estates, the heat-related CO2 emissions in residential estates (new construction and refurbishment) and thus also the energy costs are consistently reduced. EnergieAgentur.NRW is coordinating this exemplary project, which for the first time has introduced CO2 limits and a corresponding verification procedure for buildings. 96 projects in total have been awarded the status of “NRW Climate Protection Estate” following examination by a commission of experts. Almost 9,000 people live in the 46 settlements that have already been completed, demonstrating that, with consistent and sustainable planning, it is possible to execute demanding energy-efficient construction or refurbishment projects. (www.energieagentur.nrw/klimaschutzsiedlungen)
The network focuses not only on housing construction but also on non-residential buildings. There is considerable potential to make energy savings and thus reduce CO2 emissions in non-residential buildings such as schools and office buildings in particular. Together with the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, EnergieAgentur.NRW therefore launched a project to award prizes to particularly energy-efficient schools and office buildings in early 2019. The aim is to identify exemplary buildings and to draw public attention to these. A further aim is to make the experiences of planners, owners and users widely available. (www.energieagentur.nrw/gebaeude/energieeffiziente-nichtwohngebaeude)
Energy research: NRW is a leader in the field of energy research – also in comparison with other federal states. More than 30 renowned universities, around 20 non-university top research institutes and the research departments of numerous companies in NRW are working on the central issues of energy and climate. However, the complexity of the challenges involved in the energy transition programme and climate protection makes it necessary to pool together the competencies that exist. This is where the work of the EnergieForschung.NRW (CEF.NRW) (Energy Research NRW) cluster comes in. The cluster connects the players in the field of energy research across the entire value chain. It aims to ensure that technological and socio-economic advances in knowledge find their way into practical application more quickly than has been the case so far. To this end, the cluster initiates research and development projects in coordinated partnerships between research institutions and industry as well as civil society. In addition, CEF.NRW acts as a link to the energy-related activities of the EU and the German federal government, as well as to social initiatives. Organised by EnergieAgentur.NRW, CEF.NRW is the point of contact for all questions relating to energy research in NRW. (www.cef.nrw.de)
Energy management: The EnergieAgentur.NRW network “Energy Management – Smart Energy” supports NRW companies from the energy industry in the development, implementation and expansion of new business models focusing on innovation and digitalisation. The main target groups of the network, which has a good 750 members, are municipal utilities, start-ups and other energy industry companies in NRW. The network supports its members by providing information, guidance and networking along the entire value chain in order to identify and build on market opportunities. In more than 20 events, workshops and presentations in 2019, the network promoted intensive dialogue between industry, science, associations and public institutions and thus the transfer of knowledge and know-how for the benefit of companies in order to identify, advance and successfully implement innovation potential. The network’s main activity is the identification and transfer of experience and knowledge on business model innovations in the following areas:
- Internal digitisation and process optimisation
- Innovations and start-ups
- Urban energy solutions
- Sector coupling
- Flexibility and energy management systems
- Operation of Innovationsplattform.NRW (Innovation Platform NRW).
ErneuerbareEnergien.NRW (Renewable Energies NRW): The ErneuerbareEnergien.NRW project is taking the energy transition programme to the next level. The teams representing power-generating Renewable Biomass, Geothermal Energy, Photovoltaics, Hydroelectric Power and Wind Energy as well as the areas of Financing & Business Models and Participation & Planning work together and focus on integrated solutions. Each technology contributes its potential and can thus play its part in a balanced and stable power supply. Thanks to a wide range of communication tools and events, specialist information is provided and the topic of renewable energies is brought to the professional world and the public. (www.energieagentur.nrw/erneuerbare-energien)
Numerous online tools such as the blog ErneuerbareEnergien.NRW (Renewable Energies NRW), the Branchenführer.Erneuerbare (Industry Guide Renewables) or the Bürgerenergie.Atlas (Citizens’ Energy Atlas) provide comprehensive information on the opportunities and challenges presented by the energy transition programme and allow interested parties to find out about the players and projects in the energy transition programme in NRW in just a few clicks. The Stromvermarktung.Navi (Power Marketing Navigation Tool) enables operators to compare alternative forms of use or marketing for CHP power and power from renewable energy. The Förder.Navi (Funding Navigation Tool) is also a popular online tool that provides a good overview of current funding opportunities in the energy sector in just a few clicks.
Power generation from renewable energies: In NRW, wind energy and photovoltaics (PV) are the driving forces behind the energy transition programme. Last year, renewable power was generated by 3,767 wind turbines with a capacity of 5,920 megawatts (MW) and around 280,000 PV systems with an installed capacity of almost 5,300 MW. According to Energieatlas.NRW from December 2018 around 1,343 biogas plants and 438 hydroelectric power plants made their contribution to climate protection in NRW as well. Together, renewables account for 16.1 percent of power consumption in NRW.
The topic areas and technologies
Participation and Planning: The Participation & Planning portal offers detailed advice and suggestions on all aspects of citizen and public participation as well as information on various aspects of the planning and approval processes for the construction of renewable energy plants. The aim is to support all players with a competent transfer of knowledge and initial consulting, for an expansion of renewable energies that is implemented in an environmentally friendly way and with the involvement of the local population. (www.energieagentur.nrw/beratung/beteiligung)
Financing and Business Models: EnergieAgentur.NRW is also involved in the development and dissemination of financing possibilities and business models for renewable energy projects in NRW. In view of the changing and expiring funding opportunities for renewable energies, the possibilities of self-supply and direct marketing of power via alternative models are important consulting topics that are increasingly coming into focus. (www.energieagentur.nrw/finanzierung)
Biomass: EnergieAgentur.NRW is also involved in the development and dissemination of financing possibilities and business models for renewable energy projects in NRW. In view of the changing and expiring funding opportunities for renewable energies, the possibilities of self-supply and direct marketing of power via alternative models are important consulting topics that are increasingly coming into focus. (www.energieagentur.nrw/bioenergie)
Geothermal Energy (Power Generation): Geothermal energy is a reliable source of energy that is available at any time as needed. Power can be generated using geothermal energy starting from a temperature of around 120 degrees Celsius. NRW is only just beginning to use deep geothermal energy; power has not yet been generated from geothermal energy here. Current studies are focusing on conventional hydrothermal reservoirs in fissured, sedimentary sandstones as well as karstified limestones and dolomites. (www.energieagentur.nrw/geothermie)
Photovoltaics: The use of photovoltaics is an important pillar in the energy mix of the future. The costs of generating solar power through roof systems are now lower than the grid purchase prices, which means that own consumption of solar power is becoming increasingly important, not only ecologically but also economically. Ground-mounted PV systems, which in NRW are permitted along infrastructure routes and on conversion sites, can also make an important contribution to the power supply with their low production costs. (www.energieagentur.nrw/solarenergie)
Hydroelectric Power: Hydroelectric power is a reliable energy source that can be used decentrally, is capable of providing the base load, stabilises the grid and thus makes a small but important contribution to the power supply. In order to remain viable for the future, topics such as expansion in a way which does not harm the water ecology and the reactivation and optimisation of the plants form part of the work in the “ErneuerbareEnergien.NRW” project. (www.energieagentur.nrw/wasserkraft)
Wind Energy: Wind energy is an important component of the energy transition programme and also makes a significant contribution to power generation from renewables in NRW. NRW is also home to an impressive range of players along the entire value chain and a globally leading supplier industry. With its work, the “ErneuerbareEnergien.NRW” project promotes the innovative capacity of the industry and supports sustainable and accepted expansion of wind energy in NRW. (www.energieagentur.nrw/windenergie)
Deep Geothermal Energy: The topic of geothermal energy is becoming increasingly important among the energy technologies. NRW, and here in particular the Ruhr region, occupies a key position as home to numerous market-leading companies. With warm mine water in disused mines, NRW has significant potential for heating buildings, which still needs to be tapped. The first projects have already been realised in Essen, Marl and at the Robert Müser mine. In order to systematically measure the potential of the mine water, the NRW State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection has compiled the “Warm Mine Water” potential study. In this study, the technical potential of the warm mine water was determined by blending the supply at selected hard coal and lignite mining sources with the existing heat sinks. For example, in the hard coal mining regions alone, the warm mine water, which can be used via water retention sites or accessible shafts, could provide a heat quantity of around 1,300 gigawatt hours per year in the reference year 2035 for the future heat supply in NRW. This is the heating requirement for around 75,000 single-family homes.
More than half of NRW’s heating requirement can be met by using near-surface geothermal energy. This is shown by the “Potential Study Renewable Energies NRW - Part 4 - Geothermal Energy”. According to calculations by the State Environmental Agency, which prepared the state-wide potential study, the potential for the use of near-surface geothermal energy in NRW is just under 154 terawatt hours per year (TWh/a). This could cover about 57 percent of the annual heat requirement. The study shows that the climate-friendly use of geothermal energy in NRW is not yet exhausted and that NRW has very good conditions for the use of near-surface geothermal energy. The results of the study as well as the ground source heat pumps currently in existence can be viewed in the Energieatlas.NRW. (www.energieatlas.nrw.de)
The NRW Geothermal Energy Portal provides quick and comprehensive access to information for planning ground source heat pump systems. For the use of geothermal energy, the geological and hydrogeological conditions have been evaluated for each site in NRW. This applies to both ground collectors laid flat and geothermal probes up to 100 metres deep. In addition to information on the efficiency of the two systems, the online portal also provides information on hydrogeologically critical areas in which special attention must be paid to the drilling and sustainable operation of systems in order to protect the groundwater. “Expert access” to the Geothermal Portal gives experts such as drilling companies, architects and planners access to more than 30,000 bore logs. (www.geothermie.nrw.de)
To systematically develop deep geothermal energy in NRW, it is first necessary to characterise thermal water-bearing rocks with regard to their usability. According to current knowledge, high geothermal potential is expected in Devonian and Carboniferous carbonate rocks and sandstones as well as in Mesozoic sandstones and limestones. Investigating this is the aim of the EU-funded INTERREG project “Roll-out of Deep Geothermal Energy in NWE”, or DGE Rollout for short. This seeks to set the course for the deep geothermal energy market in north-western Europe, promote projects and explore the geological potential required for this purpose. The project has found that there are particularly promising energy reserves to be tapped in the western part of NRW, close to the border. Information on the influence of potential mining hazards on drilling projects is provided by the Arnsberg district government. (www.bezreg-arnsberg.nrw.de/themen/a/auskunft_bergbaul_situation)
Mine Gas: In 2019, there were 87 mining permits granted for mine gas in NRW, so one permit was revoked in 2019. At the end of 2019, 106 combined heat and power plant modules and a turbine set with a total electrical capacity of 167 megawatts were in operation. The almost 498 million kWh of power produced in 2019 alone can supply almost 110,600 households. In 2019, the heat output totalled over 124 million kWh. The total mine gas potential recovered led to a CO2 reduction of almost 2.4 million tonnes in 2019. (www.wirtschaft.nrw.de)
Wood + Pellets: Whereas in 2003 there were only around 660 subsidised systems registered in NRW, today over 36,000 pellet heating systems subsidised by the Market Incentive Programme (MAP) in NRW (approx. 290,000 nationwide) supply citizens with renewable heat. In addition to this there are local heating networks and compact solutions for multi-family homes and, increasingly, commercial properties based on wood pellets. The aim of the Wood + Pellets campaign is, together with partners and players in the industry, to strengthen this heating technology and to consolidate and expand the positive market development. Through its work, it connects the various players along the value chain in the wood pellet sector throughout Germany, with a focus on NRW. The Wood + Pellets campaign is currently actively supported by over 100 companies in the sector and is a unique example of successful cooperation between manufacturers, business, trade and public administration. The resulting synergy effects enable a competent transfer of knowledge for consumers. (www.aktion-holzpellets.de)
InnovationPlatform.NRW (Innovation Platform NRW): With Innovationsplattform.NRW, EnergieAgentur.NRW offers an online tool on the topic of energy innovations from and for NRW. On the platform, companies from NRW receive active support in innovation scouting, in the search for project partners and in the implementation of new business models and digital process improvements. In this way, the platform also specifically drives forward the connecting of the various players from science, business and research.
Through project “Requests”, companies and start-ups alike have the opportunity to find suitable partners for their projects. After all, start-ups cannot survive on pitching alone, but need billable services. So far, more than 250 contacts between start-ups and potential clients have been initiated through the platform. Thanks to partnerships initiated between start-ups and, for example, municipal utilities from NRW, orders and investments worth over EUR 1 million were generated in 2019. Using a live matchmaking feature, users are automatically introduced to collaboration partners of interest to them according to previously set preferences, without having to actively search for them themselves.
In addition, each month the innovation platform focuses on a specific topic, for which interesting start-ups, innovative project ideas and current developments in the industry are presented on one page.
The platform is rounded off by the latest news from the start-up sector, a presentation of different innovation methods, the display of current start-up challenges with a direct participation opportunity and a personalised compilation of different offers from the innovation platform, based on the interests of the user – the personal feed.
A good 800 start-ups are currently listed on Innovationsplattform.NRW, of which 176 are start-ups from NRW. The point of contact for the innovation platform is the Energy Management – Smart Energy network. (www.innovation-plattform.energieagentur.nrw)
International Relations: Efficient energy technologies and technologies for the use of renewable energies from NRW have great opportunities on the world markets. This is why EnergieAgentur.NRW’s interdisciplinary area International Relationships supports the internationalisation of, in particular, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the energy sector. The aim of the network is to increase the growth and productivity of NRW’s SMEs and their participation in world trade, to bring together offers, solutions and companies and to provide specialist information from the markets. To this end, EnergieAgentur.NRW works with many national and international network partners from industry, financing, research and politics. The network comprises almost 3,000 contacts in Germany and abroad. In addition to specialist events and facilitating contacts, regular business trips and trade fair appearances are offered. In addition, EnergieAgentur.NRW welcomes some 25 international delegations each year to discuss current energy issues and present innovative flagship projects from the region. (www.energieagentur.nrw/international)
KlimaKonzept.NRW (Climate Concept NRW): For the last five years, the KlimaKonzept.NRW model project has been supporting and accompanying the other public bodies in the state of NRW in developing their own energy and climate protection concept, as required by Section 5 of the NRW Climate Protection Act. Approximately 80 public bodies are addressed, including numerous non-profit limited companies, public law institutions or foundations. They have an online tool available in the form of the KlimaBericht.NRW (Climate Report NRW) (https://klimabericht.energieagentur.nrw), which enables them to compile and continuously update their own energy and CO2 balance. In addition, short, medium and long-term technically and economically feasible CO2 savings potential and potential for increasing energy efficiency can be stored as a catalogue of measures. The online tool KlimaBericht.NRW is also a controlling instrument for checking whether the envisaged climate protection goals have been met. In the past year, two lectures were held at public events as part of the project and 17 individual consultations were carried out for institutions active in climate protection in the state of NRW. In addition, the project roll-out was pushed forward, resulting in the acquisition of five local authorities and three further semi-public institutions. (www.energieagentur.nrw/klimaschutz/klimakonzept-nrw).
KlimaNetzwerker.NRW (Climate Networkers NRW): The Climate Networkers have been carrying out their work for climate protection and energy efficiency on behalf of the state government since 2012. They help to drive forward the energy transition programme in their regions and in the regional development agencies and are the central point of contact for municipalities, companies and citizens in matters of climate protection, energy efficiency and climate change adaptation. The twelve Climate Networkers work in the five administrative districts of NRW and in the area of the Regionalverband Ruhr (Ruhr Regional Association). One Climate Networker is responsible for the topic of climate change adaptation for the whole of NRW. The Climate Networkers act as a “hinge” between their district, the state level and the regional partners, initiating climate protection projects and communicating them throughout the state. In their work they can draw on the portfolio and know-how of EnergieAgentur.NRW, and also act as intermediaries for offers from the state. The Climate Networkers set their own course when organising events and initiating projects. Over 180 events were organised with partners in the regions in 2019. The majority of the 396 NRW municipalities are reached with regionally established networks. In addition, the Climate Networkers are on the road throughout the area every day and reach the target groups directly on the ground at information meetings. EnergieAgentur.NRW’s website provides up-to-date information and news on current projects. (www.energieagentur.nrw/klimaschutz/klimanetzwerker)
Power plant technologies: With around 29,770 MW of installed power plant capacity (Power Plant List of the Federal Network Agency as of 11/11/2019), NRW is the most important power plant location in Germany, if not Europe. Due to the increasing portion of power generation accounted for by renewable energies, however, this power plant capacity is only very rarely fully connected to the grid, which is why these power plants achieve significantly fewer operating hours than they did just a few years ago. Unprofitable power plant units are occasionally being shut down. According to the Federal Network Agency, around 12,151 MW have been taken off the grid since 2011. In addition, power plants increasingly have to fulfil the task of balancing out renewable energies’ fluctuating grid feed-in, which requires a high degree of flexibility. Due to the ever-increasing, fluctuating feed-in of renewable energies and the simultaneous decline in other generation capacity, grid bottlenecks are becoming more and more frequent, which must be remedied by the responsible grid operator using redispatching measures. The intervention frequency in hours increased from 1,588 in 2010 to 15,811 in 2015. With 13,339 hours in 2016, the number of necessary interventions was reduced for the first time, although it increased again immediately afterwards to 14,202 hours in 2017. In 2018, the number of necessary interventions fell again by 14 percent to 12,154 hours. In the first quarter of 2019, redispatching measures amounted to 3,506 hours, which is an increase of 68 percent on the same period in 2018 (2,089 hours).
The Commission for Growth, Structural Change and Employment set up by the German government in 2018 presented its final report in January 2019, in which it proposed phasing out coal by 2038. This coal phase-out is to be laid down in a coal phase-out law. This envisages that Germany will successively withdraw from coal-fired power generation by the end of 2038. The compromise negotiated between the leaders of the lignite-mining states and the German federal government provides for the closure of 2.8 gigawatts (GW) of power plant capacity in the Rhineland mining area by the end of 2022. The three modern 1 GW units in Neurath and Niederaussem are the only lignite-fired power plants that may remain on the grid until the end of 2038. The compromise also allows the modern 1.1 GW Datteln 4 unit to be connected to the grid this summer. An auction procedure will decide on the shutdown of hard coal-fired power plants.
The transfer of know-how to solar thermal tower power plants provides important synergy effects for the industry. Here, about 70 percent of conventional boiler technology is used in the power block. At the German Aerospace Centre in Jülich, innovations in this technology are being developed and tested in a solar thermal testing and demonstration power plant. (www.energieagentur.nrw/netzwerk/kraftwerkstechnik)
Combined heat and power generation: Combined heat and power generation (CHP) is a classic sector coupling technology that combines electricity and heat generation extremely efficiently, thus contributing to the flexibility of these two sectors. CHP is characterised by a particularly high degree of fuel efficiency. CO2 emissions are significantly reduced compared to the separate generation of electricity and heat. Although CHP is already used in many fields, it still has a great deal of potential that has yet to be fully tapped. The NRW state government also emphasises the importance of CHP as an essential element of the energy transition programme in its energy supply strategy and will continue to drive forward the expansion of CHP. To analyse the potential existing in NRW, the state government, with the support of EnergieAgentur.NRW, has commissioned a new CHP potential study for NRW, with the aim of driving forward the expansion of CHP strategically.
A further key element of the NRW energy supply strategy is grid-bound heat supply. In addition to the construction of local heating networks, the Rhine-Ruhr district heating line (FWSRR) will be the largest district heating network in the EU. By connecting the existing district heating lines in the Lower Rhine and Ruhr regions, the FWSRR makes a significant contribution to the CO2 and CHP targets of the state of NRW. In addition to CHP, industrial waste heat is going to be increasingly used as a source for district heating networks in NRW in future. On behalf of the state government, the State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection has analysed the state-wide potential and is presenting this in the Industrial Waste Heat Potential Study NRW. The study shows that through consistent use of waste heat from industrial energy and production processes, up to 48 terawatt hours (TWh) of usable heat for heating purposes and production processes could be replaced annually. To expand the efficient supply of energy, the state government provides a support programme in the form of progres.nrw (Progress NRW). Among other things, this promotes the construction, expansion and conversion of heating networks and investment in district heating connections. In addition, NRW.BANK provides various low-interest loans with long maturities. In this way, investments to increase energy efficiency or resource efficiency, for example, are promoted. NRW.BANK also provides low-interest loans for the construction of district heating networks.
On behalf of the state government, EnergieAgentur.NRW is supporting the expansion targets with the campaign “CHP.NRW – Electricity Meets Heat”. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness for the technology and to promote its expansion. Under the umbrella of “CHP.NRW – Electricity Meets Heat” there is a strong alliance of over 150 partners from companies and research institutions, associations and interest groups. The campaign bundles and intensifies activities in the field of CHP in NRW, taking into account all CHP technologies, all power classes and fuels. With the Market Guide CHP, the campaign has created a tool to make it easier for interested members of the public to access the energy-efficient principle of CHP. (www.kwk-für-nrw.de)
Fuels and drives systems: NRW is not only an important energy state, but also an important fuel state. NRW refineries process about 25 percent of the crude oil required in Germany. There are around 12 million vehicles registered in NRW, including 10 million cars, 17,000 buses and coaches, 646,000 lorries and 256,000 tractors. Road traffic in NRW consumes around 9 million tonnes of mineral oil per year. This is 20 percent of sales in Germany. To reduce CO2 emissions and protect the climate, it makes sense to increase the energy efficiency of engines while at the same time using alternative fuels and drive systems with renewable energies. The focus is on cars, lorries and buses/coaches as well as air and rail transport and inland waterways.
The reduction of greenhouse gases from fuel use is currently achieved mainly through the use of biofuels blended with fossil fuels. The biodiesel producers in, for example, Lünen, Neuss and Südlohn are among the largest producers in Germany. NRW has a good filling station infrastructure for natural gas (CNG) and liquid gas (LPG) throughout the state. The research and development projects of NRW partners play an important role in the development of synthetic (bio)fuels and new fuel components. Important research and development projects include the cluster of excellence “Fuel Science Center” at RWTH Aachen University funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation) or the “BioMates”, “Carbon2Chem” or “C3 Mobility” projects of the German federal government and the European Union. The aim is to store and use surplus renewable energy in fuels with a high energy density (power-to-fuel).
Activities to test liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the market as an alternative fuel for heavy lorries and for inland waterways are also underway with the involvement of NRW companies. LNG requires its own infrastructure. In 2018 there was only one mobile filling station in NRW. Others have since been added or are being planned: Cologne-Porz, Neuwied, Duisburg (operator GasCom), Recklinghausen, Cologne-Wesseling (Shell), a bunker station at the port of Cologne (Pitpoint). Forwarding companies in NRW are converting their vehicle fleets to LNG operation, among them Havi-Logistics in Duisburg and Hövelmann Logistik in Rees.
As Bio-LNG, LNG can be provided with a renewable component via biogas. There are several LNG innovation projects that come under this topic area. The INTERREG VA project “LNG PILOTS” promotes the development of innovative solutions for the establishment of a filling station infrastructure. In the EU-LIFE project “Clean Inland Shipping” (CLINSH), measures to reduce pollutants in the exhaust gases of boats are being tested under real operating conditions over a period of four years. In the NRW project “LeanDeR – LNG”, LNG infrastructure for multimodal use is being established at the port of Duisburg.
The statistics on car stocks demonstrate the diversification of the fuel and drive system market. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, there were a total of 10.084 million cars in NRW (+1.3%) as of 1/1/2019. The number of cars with alternative fuels and drive systems (LPG, natural gas, hybrid, electric) was divided up as follows: 140,295 (-4.5%) LPG cars, 69,713 hybrid cars (+49.6%), of which 13,071 plug-in hybrid (+65.9%), 16,389 natural gas cars (+10.4%) and 14,019 purely battery electric cars (+54.8%). For electric vehicles, NRW offers a charging infrastructure with 7,487 charging points (source: “Going Electric”, November 2019). 45,506 charging points were reported Germany-wide. (www.energieagentur.nrw/mobilitaet/netzwerk-kraftstoffe)
State Network for Energy Efficiency in Companies: The State Network for Energy Efficiency in Companies supports and promotes connecting companies with regard to energy efficiency and climate protection. The focus is on the exchange of experience and knowledge and the associated learning processes at regional level. In the company networks, 8 to 15 companies set shared, concrete energy efficiency targets. The state network acts as regional coordinator for the nationwide “Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative” for the establishment of company networks. There is now a total of 54 energy efficiency networks working in NRW within the initiative; there are more than 70 company networks in a wide variety of formats in NRW. 2019 saw the state network continue its collaboration with the professional associations (Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Chamber of Crafts) and the trade and industry associations at state level. (www.energieagentur.nrw/energieeffizienz/landesnetzwerk-unternehmen)
Grids and Storage Network: The Grids and Storage Network is responsible for issues surrounding energy infrastructure and energy storage: within the context of the energy transition programme, NRW, as the number 1 industrial state, holds a key position for energy infrastructure. Newly constructed renewable energy plants and storage facilities must be integrated into the regional distribution grid and transport requirements in the transmission grid must be coordinated nationally and internationally by the centrally located NRW. The Grids and Storage Network involves players from all areas of society in these processes. This is largely achieved in the working groups (WG) “WG 1: Transmission Grids”, “WG 2: Distribution Grids”, “WG 3: Storage Facilities” and “WG 4: Gas Infrastructure” and their events.
In addition to the activity in working groups, the network supports companies by providing technical expertise and support in innovation projects. A close exchange between business, science and public institutions is promoted by connecting companies and institutions along the value chain. In addition, the Grids and Storage Network organises specialist conferences and workshops with added value for its network partners, especially SMEs. Specialist brochures, newsletters and current information can be found on the website. (www.energieagentur.nrw/netze)
Solar Register NRW: A new map was published in the Energieatlas NRW (Energy Atlas NRW) in November 2018: the state-wide Solar Roof Register NRW. On the approximately eleven million roofs in NRW there lies great potential for generating power from solar energy using photovoltaics: around 68 terawatt hours of electricity could be produced per year. It is now possible for every homeowner in NRW to find out with a simple click whether and to what extent their roof surface is suitable for solar energy (both photovoltaics and solar thermal energy). An integrated solar calculator calculates the economic efficiency of a possible solar system on the basis of roof shape and inclination and according to individual settings such as power consumption, load profile, storage system, etc., and can serve as a basis for planning. Towns and municipalities also have the option of integrating the Solar Register into their own website via a link tailored to the area in question. (www.energieatlas.nrw.de; www.solarkataster.nrw.de)
Solar thermal energy: In total, more than 2.3 million solar thermal systems with a collector surface of more than 20 million square meters and a thermal capacity of 14 gigawatts were installed in Germany at the end of 2018. (www.bsw-solar.de)
According to an evaluation by EnergieAgentur.NRW of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control and progres.nrw funding figures, a total of almost 1.5 million square metres of collector surface had been installed in NRW by the end of 2017, producing approx. 600 GWh of heat per year. The Heat Register in the Energieatlas.NRW provides an overview by municipalities and districts. (www.energieatlas.nrw.de)
Heat pumps: “The sun makes electricity; the pump makes heat” – this is the current campaign of the Heat Pump Marketplace NRW. Heat pumps reduce heating costs and protect the environment by using a large proportion of regenerative environmental heat and can be combined with a photovoltaic system. Environmental heat, such as groundwater, geothermal energy or the outside air, is provided by “Mother Nature” free of charge and can be used everywhere. The fact that you can also cool with a heat pump very cost-effectively is a further argument for many. This is why around 40 percent of new buildings in Germany, and also many existing buildings, are now heated with heat pumps. To convince the citizens of NRW of the advantages of heat pumps, the Heat Pump Marketplace NRW, together with the Photovoltaics Initiative NRW, is running the campaign “The sun makes electricity, the pump makes heat” with an informative tour through NRW. Besides brochures and information on funding opportunities, experts from EnergieAgentur.NRW are working on the ground. In 2019, around 86,000 new heat pumps were installed in Germany, 17,000 of them in NRW. Of the 966,000 heat pumps now installed throughout Germany, over 193,000 (approx. 20 percent) provide environmentally friendly heat generation in NRW. (www.energieagentur.nrw/waermepumpen)
Training, raising awareness and motivation: As part of its knowledge management programme, EnergieAgentur.NRW offers a wide range of different training and development formats for different target groups, as well as various concepts for raising awareness for and increasing the motivation to act in an energy-conscious way. The “KlimaKidz – Klimawandel und erneuerbare Energien” (Climate Change and Renewable Energies) project for 5th and 6th graders at secondary schools had around 700 pupils from NRW participating by the end of the year; the teaching unit “KlimaTeens – Energie und Klimaschutz” (Energy and Climate Protection) with experiments for 7th to 9th grade also reached a good 700 young people. More than 1,500 people attended seminars on a wide array of energy topics and around 70 day-care centres have started the certification process for “KlimaKita.NRW” (Climate Day-Care Centre NRW). With the help of “mission E”, an EnergieAgentur.NRW concept which has won several awards and involves motivating employees to behave in an energy-conscious manner for the long term, a total of around 274,000 people were reached in 2019. (www.missionE.nrw).
EnergieAgentur.NRW; Roßstraße 92; 40476 Düsseldorf; Telephone: 0211 866420
Head of Communication:
Dr. Joachim Frielingsdorf
Telephone: 0202 2455219
42103 Wuppertal, Germany
Uwe H. Burghardt M. A.
Kommunikation, Pressesprecher Innovationen und Netzwerke
You can contact the EnergyAgency.NRW additionally on weekdays between 8am and 6pm by calling our hotline on: +49 211 - 8371930