More energy is converted and used in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) than in any other German state, and its long tradition in the use of natural resources has led to the development of wide-ranging expertise in energy technology. The state is home to a dense network of research institutes as well as a large number of companies offering innovative energy products and services that help improve energy efficiency and expand the use of renewable energies. NRW is the ideal location for many forward-looking companies – from those involved in the extraction of raw materials for energy generation to end users of energy. EnergyAgency.NRW is a service provider with a broad range of expertise which it deploys to help North Rhine-Westphalia expand its leading position and achieve its energy policy goals (climate and resource protection, profitability and security of supply). (www.energieagentur.nrw.de)
EnergyAgency.NRW manages the clusters EnergyRegion.NRW (www.energieregion.nrw.de) and EnergyResearch.NRW “CEF.NRW” (www.cef.nrw.de), while also providing energy consultancy services in the form of initial and contracting consulting for companies and administrations, as well as information and training for professionals and private individuals alike. Its remit also includes behaviour training for energy users.
General subsidies: As part of the progres.nrw market launch subsidy programme, over 106,000 individual projects have received more than 865 million euros in funding from the state and the EU between the start of the programme and the end of 2018. Moreover, a total of 2,291 measures to the tune of approximately 11 million euros were approved under the progres.nrw low-emission mobility programme in 2018. These figures break down as follows: 1,915 charging infrastructures; 122 electric vehicles; 254 electric cargo bicycles. (www.progres.nrw.de).
Share of German electricity and primary energy consumption: In 2018, around 38 percent of Germany’s gross electricity consumption, and thus around 14 percent of its total primary energy consumption, came from renewable energies. (In NRW in 2016, renewables accounted for around 11 percent of electricity consumption and around 4 percent of primary energy consumption). Wind energy was Germany’s most important source of renewable power in 2018, accounting for more than 17 percent of the country’s gross electricity generation. In next place was biomass with a share of around 7 percent, followed by photovoltaics with 7 percent and hydropower with 3 percent. This means that renewable energies are once again Germany’s most important source of electricity, followed in 2018 by lignite with a share of around 23 percent, coal with 13 percent, natural gas with 13 percent and nuclear energy with 12 percent.
In terms of Germany’s total primary energy consumption (electricity, heat, mobility) in 2018, mineral oil was in first place at 34 percent, followed by natural gas at 24 percent, renewable energies at 14 percent, coal at 10 percent, lignite at 12 percent and nuclear energy at 6 percent. (www.ag-energiebilanzen.de; www.bmwi.de; www.erneuerbare-energien.de)
Jobs: According to the German Ministry of Economics and Energy, the operation of renewable energy plants boosted the national economy to the tune of around 16 billion euros in 2017, with approximately this amount being invested and around 340,000 jobs being safeguarded (around 210,000 through investments and exports, 60,000 through operation and maintenance and 60,000 through the provision of fuels. Ministry statistics attribute around 8,000 jobs to publicly funded research and administration.) In 2017, over 44,000 people were employed in the renewable energy sector in NRW in over 4,500 companies. (www.foederal-erneuerbar.de; www.wirtschaft.nrw.de; www.bmwi.de; www.bmub.bund.de; www.lee-nrw.de)
Mining industry: The Mining Industry network, which is organised by EnergyAgency.NRW and has over 650 members, is focussed on the mining supply industry and on securing raw material supplies. With the support of the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, it provides backing to NRW companies as they open up new fields of business and international markets. Its other role is to promote sales by deploying market-oriented technologies and to use its impartial position to help develop other market segments. In addition to the successful foreign activities, the Processes and Alliances working group was set up and the existing Mine Gas working group was integrated into the Mining Industry network. Other important topics include education and training, occupational safety, environmental protection and after-mining. The network cooperates closely with existing associations and institutions such as VDMA Mining, the German International Mining Association, the German Raw Materials Agency and the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad. There is also a constant exchange with universities such as RWTH Aachen and TH Agricola Bochum. (www.energieagentur.nrw/bergbau)
Fuel cells, hydrogen and electric mobility Network: Hydrogen and fuel-cell technology, as well as battery-electric mobility, are key technologies throughout the entire energy and transport system. North-Rhine Westphalia’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Electric Mobility network has brought together more than 480 mainly medium-sized companies and research institutions and over 130 project partners from the NRW Electric Mobility Model Region. This network provides support for this technology, while helping to initiate, and providing expert guidance to, cooperation projects including the current competition “NRW Model Municipality/Region Hydrogen Mobility”. To date, the state and the EU (European Regional Development Fund – ERDF) have provided almost 150 million euros for over 130 projects relating to fuel-cell and hydrogen technology. In addition, further projects in NRW have received funding from the National Innovation Programme (NIP) and the European FCH JU programme as part of Horizon 2020. The range of project topics extends from the development of individual system components such as compressors and sensors to the development and testing of complex products such as buses or refuelling stations.
In the field of battery-electric mobility, around 110 projects in almost 60 cities have been launched under the programmes of the German Ministry of Transport since 2009. These projects have received expert guidance and financial backing totalling around 80 million euros. Support has also been provided for the integration of renewable energies into the transport sector, the use of electric vehicles in commercial and municipal fleets and the development of business models. To date, the German Ministry of Transport has provided financial support for approximately 1,200 vehicles and around 1,800 charging points across NRW as part of these projects.
ElectricMobility.NRW is an umbrella brand of the NRW’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and brings together all the state's electric mobility activities. Under this brand, NRW’s Electric Mobility Competence Centre and EnergyAgency.NRW are working on behalf of NRW’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, and with support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), on the further development of electric mobility in NRW.
Hydrogen, in its role as a storage medium, is set to play an increasingly important role in the energy supply of the future as part of Germany’s energy transition ("power-to-gas"). The stored hydrogen can be converted back to electricity in a highly efficient process using fuel cells, or it can be supplied directly to industrial users or put to work as a “home-grown fuel” in fuel-cell vehicles for emissions-free mobility. A further nine H2 refuelling stations (plus three in bus depots) will thus be added to NRW’s existing nine in 2019, and these will be available to the growing number of cars and bus fleets of the public transport system.
Moreover, stationary fuel-cell applications can be used for combined heat and power generation (over 5,000 units in Germany) or to provide an uninterruptible or off-grid autonomous power for applications such as mobile phone masts. There are a number of attractive financing options available for investments in fuel cell-based CHP systems. (www.energieagentur.nrw/netzwerk/brennstoffzelle-wasserstoff-elektromobilitaet)
Initial energy consultancy services: In 2018, EnergyAgency.NRW’s engineers carried out more than 450 consultations in companies and municipalities throughout the state.
Municipalities: 99 NRW municipalities or regions are participating in the European Energy Award energy management process and a further 349 municipalities use the CO2 balancing tool.
In 2018, following initial consultancy services by EA.NRW, three very special energy-saving contracting projects representing a total investment of 19.4 million euros and annual savings in energy costs of 4.7 million euros started their main commercial operating phase. An intensive seminar on energy-saving contracting targeted at municipalities was held in cooperation with the German Energy Agency (dena). The energy saving contracting tool provides a quick assessment of whether this type of energy service is an appropriate option.
Companies: As part of its “Industry Compass”, EA.NRW published a number of practical working aids for the gardening and landscaping industries and for the organic food retail sector that address specific circumstances in the field of energy.
For a further 18 industries ranging from hairdressing to computer centres to woodworking, EA.NRW provided targeted information explaining energy saving options.
EA.NRW also supports systematic energy management in companies by providing helpful software and the updated “EMS.MarketMirror” which makes it easier to select the most appropriate programme.
The quick energy check gives companies a first idea of their energy demand in comparison to the industry average.
In addition, craftsmen have performed a total of 2,888 energy checks on buildings, while engineers and architects conducted 12 in-depth consultations for single and two-family homes. On average, a building check triggers an investment of 7,500 euros and the solar checks an investment of 5,700 euros, which means that in 2018 over 26 million euro of investment in energy-efficient modernisation projects in the housing sector were prompted by these instruments alone. Since the start of the campaigns, there have been around 71,000 checks which have triggered investments of over 463 million euros. (www.energieagentur.nrw/foerderung)
Energy-efficient modernisation of buildings: Energy-efficient buildings are the future. From the start of 2006 to September 2018, the German government-owned development bank KfW approved around 142,000 loan applications from across the state for financing energy-efficient building renovation projects totalling 10 billion euros. As a result, more than 480,000 homes in NRW were modernised. In the same period, almost 165,000 applications were made for grants for energy-efficient building renovation projects with a total value of over 300 million euros. This meant that energy-efficient modernisations were performed on around 340,000 homes in NRW. (www.energieagentur.nrw/modernisierung)
ALTBAUNEU: This is a joint initiative by municipalities and districts in North-Rhine Westphalia. It supports local authorities that provide consultancy services to local citizens and building owners on how to go about modernising buildings in an energy-efficient way. Eight rural districts and eighteen independent towns and municipalities, representing more than 45 percent of the population of North-Rhine Westphalia, are involved in the ALTBAUNEU project. The initiative is coordinated by EnergyAgency.NRW, supported by the NRW Consumer Centre and by Trade in NRW and implemented locally by participating regional authorities. (www.alt-bau-neu.de)
NRW Energy Savers: Between 2003 and 2018, a total of 3,332 “NRW Energy Saver” plaques were awarded across the state. The NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs awards these plaques to buildings that set an example by their low energy consumption or use of renewable energy. This campaign is coordinated by EnergyAgency.NRW.
EnergyAtlas.NRW: The specialist information service EnergyAtlas.NRW from the NRW State Office for the Protection of Nature, the Environment and Consumers (LANUV NRW) is a state-wide platform providing information on the inventory, expansion options and potential of renewable energies in North-Rhine Westphalia. Since 2012, around 250 users a day have been using state government’s data and planning tools for electricity- and heat-producing plant made available at www.energieatlas.nrw.de. Citizens can use the various thematic maps to search for potential areas for new renewable energy plants and use the site to start the planning phase. For example, the Wind planning map allows users to click on restricted areas and areas classified as ‘off limits’ to include them in their area search, and it includes a wind yield calculator that provides an initial estimate of the potential yield. The heat register allows heat sources and heat requirements to be placed side by side when planning heat network expansions. Also completely new since November 2018 is NRW’s first state-wide solar roof register in the form of a further thematic map at EnergyAtlas.NRW. (www.energieatlas.nrw.de, www.solarkataster.nrw.de)
Energy information: The quarterly magazine “Innovation & Energie” (Innovation & Energy) has 26,000 subscribers and readers per issue, and in 2018 the English edition had an annual circulation of 8,000 copies. These were used, for example, as part of EnergyAgency.NRW’s foreign trade activities and during the World Climate Conference COP 24 in Katowice in December.
The email newsletter goes out to over 15,000 subscribers every week, and there are also special themed editions. The web pages around the main website www.energieagentur.nrw are amongst the most visited in the energy sector, with the EnergyAgency.NRW pages and various subject-specific portals receiving 1.27 million views and more than 350,000 visitors in 2018 in over 520,000 sessions. The average session lasted 2.25 minutes.
EnergyAgency.NRW’s online media currently include 28 online tools, the most popular being the PV.Calculator, which was used over 25,000 times.
Almost 220,000 brochures were downloaded from the EnergyAgency.NRW website in pdf format and almost 82,000 printed brochures were sent out by post. A total of 273 different publications are currently available.
EnergyAgency.NRW tweets to its over 7,600 followers on the subject of energy several times a day from its Twitter account @EANRW, and in 2018 it added more than 430 new followers. These include high-reach multipliers who often further disseminate EnergyAgency.NRW’s tweets. EnergyAgency.NRW also has its own company page on Facebook with 1,848 followers and runs the “Klimaschutz – made in NRW” (Climate protection - made in NRW) account, which has 793 followers, as well as the “EnergieJobs.NRW” (EnergyJobs.NRW) account. EnergyAgency.NRW has profiles on LinkedIn, Instagram and XING, and videos on EnergyAgency.NRW’s YouTube channel received 415,547 hits.
Twelve new films and an animated video have been created, making a total of 158 films with information about renewable energies, energy efficiency and climate protection in NRW. (www.energieagentur.nrw)
Energy-efficient Construction and Renovation network: The energy-efficient construction and renovation of buildings is an important field, since one-third of Germany’s total final energy consumption is used for space heating and hot water production in buildings.
The Energy-efficient and Solar Construction network pursues a project-oriented approach, focussing on the initiation and dissemination of best-practice projects.
The project “100 Climate Protection Housing Estates in North Rhine-Westphalia” was developed as part of the network’s activities with the aim of implementing climate protection measures not only during the planning and design stage but also as part of overall urban development. Consistent reductions have been achieved in heat-related CO2 emissions – and thus also energy costs – of the climate protection housing estates in both new-build and renovated housing. This exemplary project, which has for the first time introduced CO2 limits and a corresponding verification procedure for buildings, is being coordinated by EnergyAgency.NRW.
Following an audit by a committee of experts, a total of 87 projects were awarded the status of “NRW climate protection housing estate”. The 38 housing estates already completed have 6,000 residents and demonstrate that consistent and sustainable planning can facilitate the implementation of ambitious projects for energy-efficient construction and renovation. (www.energieagentur.nrw/klimaschutzsiedlungen)
Within the network, information is transferred and shared in various ways which include network meetings as a forum for presenting innovative technologies and specific project results and for promoting the exchange of experience between multipliers in the building sector.
In the past, the focus of the network was on housing construction. In future, the network will place more emphasis on non-residential buildings in order to open up further potential for reducing CO2 emissions. (www.energieagentur.nrw/netzwerk/energieeffizientes-und-solares-bauen)
Energy research: North-Rhine Westphalia is at the forefront of energy research, occupying a leading position in relation to the other German states. More than 30 renowned universities, around 20 top non-university research institutes and the research departments of numerous companies in NRW are working on the key issues of energy and climate protection. Given the complexity of the challenges surrounding Germany’s energy transition and climate protection, all available expertise must be combined. This is where the work of the EnergyResearch.NRW cluster (CEF.NRW) comes in.
The cluster creates links between players in the energy research sector throughout the entire value chain. Its aim is to speed up the application of technological and socio-economic advances in knowledge, and it does this by initiating research and development projects as part of a coordinated cooperation process involving research institutions, on the one hand, and industry and civil society, on the other. In addition, CEF.NRW acts as a link to energy-related activities by the EU and the German government, and to social initiatives.
Managed by EnergyAgency.NRW, CEF.NRW is the point of contact for all questions relating to energy research in North Rhine-Westphalia. (www.cef.nrw.de)
Energy industry: The EnergyAgency.NRW network Energy Industry - Smart Energy supports energy companies from North Rhine-Westphalia in developing, implementing and expanding new business models focussing on innovation and digitisation.
The network has almost 750 members and its main target groups are municipal utilities, start-ups and other companies in NRW’s energy industry. It helps its members to identify and develop market opportunities by providing information, support and networking opportunities across the entire value chain. By fostering dialogue between industry, science, associations and public institutions, it promotes the transfer of knowledge and expertise in a way that benefits companies and helps them identify, drive forward and harness innovation potential.
The network’s main activities include the identification of – and transfer of experience and knowledge relating to – 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
Renewable Energies.NRW: In an electricity system increasingly characterised by renewables, attention is shifting to overarching issues such as public acceptance, the continued use of renewable energy plants after EEG funding has expired, economic viability under changed conditions and requirements relating to the grid compatibility of renewable energy plants. To meet these challenges, EnergyAgency.NRW has launched the “Renewable Energies.NRW” project.
The aim of the “Renewable Energies.NRW” project is to provide general information and advice on how to expand renewable energies in a socially acceptable manner and facilitate the operation of renewable energy plants in a way that is compatible with grid and overall energy system requirements. The project’s remit also includes support for the combined operation of renewable energy systems and storage systems to facilitate on-site energy use. The scope includes all electricity-generating renewables. In addition to the individual technologies (biomass, photovoltaics, hydropower and wind energy), it also covers areas such as “Participation and Planning” and “Financing and Business Models”.
Brief information on the individual topics within the project:
Participation and planning: The energy transition enjoys broad social acceptance, but renewables projects can also meet with resistance when their effects on the ground come into conflict with people's lives – for example in the case of wind turbines and large photovoltaic systems. Concerns can be addressed by ensuring transparency and encouraging participation in the key stages of the planning process. EnergyAgency.NRW supports this approach firstly by providing information on planning and participation processes, and secondly by organising initial consultations to provide the basis for a constructive planning process involving local citizens.
Renewable Energies.NRW blog: The EnergyAgency.NRW blog provides specialist information on renewable energies along with the latest news and background on project planning and execution.
Financing and business models: EnergyAgency.NRW is also engaged in the development and dissemination of financing options and business models for renewable energy projects in NRW. In view of the changing funding options for renewables, some of which are being phased out, the options for on-site energy use and the direct sale of electricity via alternative models are increasingly important addressed in consultations. The Stromvermarktung.Navi (ElectricityMarket.Navi) web tool allows operators to compare alternative forms of use or sale of electricity from CHP and other renewable sources. Förder.Navi (Subsidy.Navi) is another popular online tool that provides a good overview of current funding options in the energy sector in just a few clicks.
The Community Energy and Energy Cooperatives platform, established to support players in the field of community energy, now has around 230 members. Its target group comprises all active players in community energy regardless of legal form, and it also serves districts, municipalities, businesses and associations. The CommunityEnergy.Atlas, a project list with more than 320 entries and a variety of offerings, was created to support this group. (www.energieagentur.nrw/finanzierung)
Biomass: Under the cascading use principle, biomass is first and foremost seen as a source of raw materials. However, biomass also functions as an energy source that can be used to produce electricity, heat and fuels, thus proving itself to be a multi-talented star of the energy sector. In terms of agricultural biogas plants, around 620 plants with an installed electrical capacity of 300 megawatts were in operation in North Rhine-Westphalia in mid-2017. Innovative projects for the more efficient use of raw materials and the residues from agricultural, forestry and waste management sources are emerging in NRW in the various value chains of solid, liquid and gaseous biomass. EnergyAgency.NRW provides comprehensive online information about technologies, contacts and projects in the biomass sector, one such information source being the BioenergyAtlas.NRW. (www.energieagentur.nrw/bioenergie)
Photovoltaics: Photovoltaics (PV) represents a key component of the energy mix of the future and an is important pillar of the energy transition. In 2018, around 1.71 million PV systems, with a combined output of 45,929 megawatt peak (MWp), were installed throughout Germany. Producing around 44 billion kWh of climate-friendly electricity, they accounted for around 8.7 percent of Germany’s electricity generation, which is the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of around 12.5 million homes. The approximately 260,000 solar power systems installed in NRW had a combined capacity of approximately 4,900 MWp, with new capacity increasing to 281 MWp in 2018 compared to 189 MWp in 2017.
This puts NRW in third place nationwide behind Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Generation costs for roof-mounted PV systems are now between 10 and 16 cents per kilowatt hour, which is less than the purchase prices for domestic electricity, meaning that on-site consumption of solar power is currently also economically attractive. When solar power is generated in stand-alone systems, costs can even fall below 4 to 8 cents per kilowatt hour. The tariffs for stand-alone systems are set by a bidding process operated by the Federal Network Agency (BNA), and direct sale has been mandatory for roof-mounted systems larger than 100 kWp since the beginning of 2016.
The German photovoltaics industry has around 10,000 companies employing over 40,000 people. However, this figure was over 100,000 in 2012. (www.energieagentur.nrw/solarenergie)
Hydropower: The use of hydropower to generate energy has the potential to make a contribution to reducing climate problems on a global scale. However, this energy source can also be deployed to support the decentralised energy transition on a regional basis, as it is a constantly available component of the energy mix that optimally complements the mix of renewable energies and contributes to grid stability. In 2017, the State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection (LANUV) conducted a study to determine the potential of hydropower. Based on the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive, the study identified a total potential of 641 GWh/y, around 108 GWh/y of which has not yet been exploited. The Hydropower Office of EnergyAgency.NRW offers information and advice. Given the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is focusing on expanding hydropower in a way that does not harm the water ecology by reactivating and optimising plants and using hydropower technology at existing dams and infrastructure installations. The state government of NRW has so far provided funding to 184 plants with a total capacity of more than 16 megawatts. The total funding of 8 million euros have prompted further investments of more than 35 million euros. (www.energieagentur.nrw/wasserkraft)
Wind energy: After several years of strong expansion, 2018 saw 55 percent less wind energy capacity installed in Germany than the same period of the previous year. A significant decline in new construction was also recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia, with 106 wind turbines, representing a capacity of 331 megawatts (MW), connected to the grid in 2018. Although 62 percent less wind energy capacity was installed compared to the same period of the previous year, NRW still takes second place behind Lower Saxony in terms of new capacity. In total, 3,726 wind turbines with a total capacity of 5,773 MW were in operation in NRW at the end of the year.
In Germany as a whole, 743 new wind turbines with a total capacity of 2,402 MW were installed onshore in 2018, including 111 repowering turbines with a capacity of 363 MW. During the same period, 205 onshore turbines with a total capacity of 249 MW were dismantled. The net increase in generating capacity thus amounted to 2,154 MW (538 wind turbines). Offshore, 136 wind turbines were constructed last year to give an increase in generating capacity of 969 MW. This means that 29,213 onshore and 1,305 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 59,313 MW were in operation in Germany on 31 December 2018.
Wind energy topics: The aim of work in the field of wind energy in NRW is to promote the wind industry by better networking, increase the innovative capacity of the sector, support the expansion of wind energy, and increase public acceptance of wind energy expansion in NRW.
The target group for wind energy activities comprises a wide range companies from across the entire value chain. This industry is provided with a platform which allows technical specialists, industry experts and interested persons to share information on specific topics with a view to finding solutions. A wide range of information resources, opportunities for communication and events is provided to disseminate specialist information and increase the level of awareness on wind energy among experts and the general public. (www.energieagentur.nrw/windenergie)
Geothermal: Geothermal energy is becoming an increasingly important energy source, and NRW – and in particular the Ruhr Metropolis where numerous market-leading companies are based – occupies a key position in this field. Hot mine water from NRW’s abandoned coal mines represents a significant and as-yet untapped resource for heating buildings. Initial projects have already been implemented in Essen, Marl and at the Robert Müser colliery. The NRW State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection (LANUV NRW) has conducted a study on the potential of hot mine water. It determined the technical potential of hot mine water by overlaying the yield from specific coal and lignite-based heat sources with the existing heat sinks. This study showed that, in the coal mining regions alone, the hot mine water, which can be extracted via dewatering sites or accessible shafts, could provide around 1,300 gigawatt hours of heat per year in the reference year 2035 for the future heat supply in NRW. This corresponds to the heating requirements of around 75,000 detached houses.
More than half of NRW’s heat demand can be met by shallow geothermal energy. This is the result of Part 4 of a study on renewable energy in NRW ("Potenzialstudie Erneuerbare Energien NRW - Teil 4 - Geothermie”), which explored the potential of geothermal energy. According to calculations by the State Environmental Agency, which produced the state-wide study, the potential for the use of shallow geothermal energy in NRW is just under 154 terawatt hours per year (TWh/y), which could meet about 57 percent of the state’s annual heat demand. The study shows that North Rhine-Westphalia’s potential for the use of geothermal energy in support of climate goals has not yet been exhausted and that the state offers very good conditions for the use of shallow geothermal energy. The results of the study as well as the current inventory of ground-source heat pumps can be consulted in the EnergyAtlas.NRW. (www.energieatlas.nrw.de)
North Rhine-Westphalia’s Geothermal Energy Portal provides fast access to extensive information for the planning of ground-source heat pump systems. The geological and hydrogeological conditions of each site in North Rhine-Westphalia have been assessed for their suitability for the extraction of geothermal energy using both horizontal geothermal collectors and geothermal probes with depths of up to 100 m. In addition to data on the efficiency of the two systems, the online portal also provides information on hydrogeologically critical areas that require particular attention to be paid to the selection of drilling techniques and the proper operation of installations in order to protect the groundwater. Access to the professional version of the portal gives specialists such as drilling contractors, architects and planners access to over 30,000 bore logs. (www.geothermie.nrw.de)
NRW has considerable potential for deep geothermal energy use. Recent investigations have focussed on two fields: (a) conventional hydrothermal reservoirs in fissured sedimentary reservoir rocks and (b) medium-depth reservoirs acting as seasonal heat reservoirs in the cavity structures left by coal mining. The potential of hydrothermal aquifers in the west takes the form of fissured sandstones and karstified limestones and dolomites. These are located close to the surface in the Rhenish Slate Mountains and in Sauerland in thicknesses of up to 300 m, and deeper underground in the Lower Rhine Basin and in the Ruhr area. The limestones of the Lower Carboniferous can be found in the subsoil of the Lower Rhine Basin, in the Ruhr area and in the Muensterland area (outcrops on the Lower Rhine show intensive karstification down to 1,000 m). In addition to the carbonates, NRW also has Ruhr sandstone formations from the Carboniferous as well as sandstone formations from the Triassic and Jurassic eras in the Bad Oeynhausen area, in the northern Lower Rhine region and in the western and northern uensterland regions.
The Arnsberg district government can provide information on how drilling projects might be affected by mining hazards. (www.bezreg-arnsberg.nrw.de/themen/a/auskunft_bergbaul_situation)
Mine gas: In 2018, mining operators in NRW held 88 mining permits for mine gas, two of which were newly granted in 2018. At the end of 2018, 107 cogeneration modules and one turbine set with a total power generating capacity of 168 megawatts were in service. In 2018 alone, 565 million kWh of electricity was produced, covering the needs of more than 125,500 households, and the heat output for this period was over 152 million kWh. The total exploited mine gas potential allowed CO2 emissions to be reduced by over 2.6 million tonnes in 2018. (www.wirtschaft.nrw.de)
Wood pellets: For the past 15 years, the market initiative “NRW Wood Pellets Campaign” has been linking up the various players throughout the value chain in the wood pellet industry across Germany and in particular in NRW. This initiative is a unique example of successful cooperation between manufacturers, trade and industry, and public administration in the field of renewable heat, and is currently supported by around 100 companies in the sector.
The resulting synergies facilitate an effective transfer of knowledge, and the initiative provides a forum for the dissemination of well-founded, unbiased information about this fuel and the associated technologies, as well as raising awareness on the subject by various public relations activities. In recent years, wood pellet heating has become an integral part of a balanced energy mix within the renewable energy sector, making it an essential component of the transition to sustainable heating. Subsidies for wood pellet heating systems at state and federal level have significantly increased the number of systems installed in NRW in recent years, raising the number of pellet heaters to more than 36,000 NRW (and about 290,000 nationwide), up from only about 660 subsidised plants registered in NRW in 2003. The aim of the Wood Pellets Campaign is to work with partners and players in the sector to further strengthen this heating technology, and to consolidate and expand the existing positive market development. (www.aktion-holzpellets.de)
InnovationPlatform.NRW: InnovationPlatform.NRW is a new online tool from EnergyAgency.NRW providing support for energy industry innovations. The platform offers companies from North Rhine-Westphalia active assistance in innovation scouting and the search for project partners, and supports them as they implement new business models and make improvements to their digital processes. In this way, the project also helps to link up players from across science, industry and research, allowing them to network effectively.
Project proposals known as calls – of which there are currently 50 available online – give established companies and start-ups the opportunity to find suitable partners for their projects.
The innovation platform also features a live matchmaking function, allowing users to be automatically introduced to cooperation partners selected according to their pre-set preferences, relieving them of the effort of searching for such contacts themselves.
Every month, the platform addresses a specific topic, bringing together interesting start-ups, innovative project ideas and current developments in the industry on a single page.
This offering is supplemented by the innovation radar, which displays the latest news on innovations from North Rhine-Westphalia and presents new innovative methods every month with the aim of supporting companies as they initiate or implement their own innovations.
InnovationPlatform.NRW currently lists 89 start-ups from North Rhine-Westphalia, which are broken down into the following categories: Energy Efficiency & Environment (6 entries), Energy Generation (8 entries), Energy Market & Trade (14 entries), Energy Storage (5 entries), IT & ICT (41 entries), Industry 4.0 & Logistics (24 entries), Mobility (10 entries) and Smart Cities & Buildings (18 entries). (www.innovation-plattform.energieagentur.nrw)
International Relations: The world markets offer fantastic opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies from North Rhine-Westphalia. This is why EnergyAgency.NRW’s International Relations Division provides dedicated support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the energy sector as they move into international markets. The network’s aim is to increase the growth and productivity of North Rhine-Westphalian SMEs and help them participate in world trade, and to link up offerings, solutions and companies and provide specialist information on the markets in question. EnergyAgency.NRW works with a number of national and international network partners from the fields of industry, finance, research and politics. The network comprises more than 2,600 contacts in Germany and abroad and, apart from specialist events and contact mediation, also organises regular business trips and makes frequent appearances at trade fairs. In addition, EnergyAgency.NRW welcomes around 25 international delegations each year to discuss topical energy issues and present innovative lighthouse projects from across the region. (www.energieagentur.nrw/international)
ClimateConcept.NRW: Since May 2014, the ClimateConcept.NRW project has helped more than 80 public institutions in NRW develop their own climate strategy, as required under Section 5 of NRW’s Climate Protection Act. Based on an assessment of their own CO2 emissions in the electricity, heat and mobility sectors, these institutions develop approaches to improving their climate impact with support from the ClimateReport.NRW online tool (klimabericht.energieagentur.nrw). EnergyAgency.NRW is responsible for monitoring and moderating the project, providing information as well as helping with data input, evaluation and interpretation. Over the past year, 36 individual consultations were carried out at institutions engaged in climate protection in North Rhine-Westphalia as part of the project. The topic of ‘Renewable energies in building services engineering’ was also established; climate-friendly mobility and operational mobility management have become an important part of the remit of public institutions, so support services in this area have been expanded. (www.energieagentur.nrw/klimaschutz/klimakonzept-nrw).
ClimateNetworkers.NRW: Since 2012, ClimateNetworkers.NRW have been working towards the goals of climate protection and energy efficiency throughout NRW on behalf of the state government. They are helping to drive forward the energy transition within their regions and in regional development companies, and to inform and link up local authorities and administrations, companies and businesses and citizens in matters of climate protection, energy efficiency and climate change adaptation. There are a total of 14 ClimateNetworkers in the administrative districts of NRW and the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR), one of whom is responsible for climate change adaptation throughout NRW.
The ClimateNetworkers.NRW act as a kind of hinge between their district, the state and regional partners, as well as initiating climate protection projects and communicating about these projects throughout the state. They can draw on the portfolio and expertise of EnergyAgency.NRW to support them in their activities and also broker offers from the state. The ClimateNetworkers.NRW develop their own approach to organising events and to launching new projects.
More than 100 events were organised with partners in the regions in 2018, and the regional networks cover a large part of the 396 NRW municipalities. In addition, ClimateNetworkers.NRW are out and about within the area on a daily basis and reach their target groups directly and locally during their information sessions. The EnergyAgency.NRW website and the Twitter news bulletin service provide access to the latest projects and information. (www.energieagentur.nrw/klimaschutz/klimanetzwerker)
Power plant technologies: With an installed capacity from all power plants of around 30,180 MW (cf. Federal Network Agency power plant list as of 19 November 2018), NRW is the most important federal state for power plants in Germany, if not in Europe. However, due to the increasing share of renewable energies in electricity generation, this generation capacity can hardly ever be brought fully into the grid. Consequently, these power plants achieve significantly fewer operating hours than just a few years ago, and unprofitable units are sometimes shut down. According to the Federal Network Agency, around 11,080 MW has been taken off the grid since 2011. In addition, power plants increasingly need to perform the role of balancing the intermittent supply of renewables into the grid, which calls for a high degree of flexibility.
As the share of intermittent generation capacity feeding into the grid increases and other capacity is taken off the grid, there are more and more grid bottlenecks necessitating redispatch measures by the relevant grid operator. The frequency of intervention rose from 1,588 hours in 2010 to 15,811 in 2015. In 2016, the number of interventions was reduced for the first time to 13,339 hours, but in 2017 the figure went straight back up to 14,202 hours. In the first quarter of 2018, redispatch measures totalling 2,089 hours were performed, around half the figure for the same period in 2017 (4,342 hours).
In 2016, the most advanced combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in the world with an efficiency of more than 61 percent was commissioned in Düsseldorf. For the first time, 300 MW of district heat can be recovered from a single power plant unit with just one gas turbine and fed into the district heating network of Stadtwerke Düsseldorf. By simultaneously generating electricity and heat, the CCGT can achieve a total fuel efficiency of over 85 percent, thus saving around 700,000 tons of CO2 per year compared to the average emissions of electricity generation worldwide. In Grevenbroich-Neurath, the world's most advanced lignite units are in operation (BoA 2/3 from RWE). Of the approximately 2.3 billion euros invested for the construction of the power plant, around 50 percent remained in the region, representing a significant contribution to local value creation. Unit 10 of STEAG GmbH’s Walsum power plant was built according to the "Reference Power Plant NRW" concept and is one of the most efficient coal-fired power plants in the world, with an efficiency of up to 46 percent. This saves 138 grams of CO2 per kWh compared to the current average efficiency of 38 percent. If all power plants worldwide were built to these standards, CO2 emissions would be reduced by around 30 percent.
The transfer of this expertise to solar thermal tower power plants will create important synergies for the industry. Around 70 percent of all conventional boiler technology is used in the power blocks of such plants. Innovations relating to this technology are being developed and tested at the German Aerospace Centre’s solar thermal test and demonstration power plant in Jülich. (www.energieagentur.nrw/netzwerk/kraftwerkstechnik)
Combined heat and power: Combined heat and power (CHP) is a highly efficient process linking electricity and heat production, thereby increasing the flexibility of these two sectors. CHP offers excellent fuel efficiency, meaning that CO2 emissions can be significantly reduced in comparison to the separate generation of electricity and heat. Although cogeneration is already in use in many areas, its significant potential has not yet been fully exploited. The NRW government has underlined the importance of CHP as an essential element in the energy transition and intends to reduce the investment barriers impeding the expansion of CHP and further expand and consolidate the district heating infrastructure where this is economically viable. Various studies and analyses – such as the NRW CHP Potential Study, which identified the economically viable potential of CHP in NRW, and a feasibility study, which analysed the prospects for district heating in the Ruhr area up to 2050 in greater detail – have shown that this is possible. These studies indicate that the Rhein-Ruhr district heating network (FWSRR) will be the largest district heating network in the EU. By linking up the existing Lower Rhine and Ruhr district heating networks, FWSRR will greatly assist North Rhine-Westphalia in reaching its CO2 and CHP targets. In addition to CHP, industrial waste heat is also set to become an increasingly important input for district heating networks in NRW. LANUV is currently investigating the amount of heat available for this in a nationwide potential study.
The NRW government has set up a funding programme (progres.nrw) to support the expansion of CHP. It aims to encourage the construction, expansion and conversion of heating networks and promote investment in district heating connections. In addition, NRW.BANK offers a range of long-term low-interest loans, with preference being given to investments that increase the efficient use of energy or resources. NRW.BANK also provides loans for the construction of district heating networks on favourable terms.
On behalf of the state government, EnergyAgency.NRW is running a campaign entitled “CHP.NRW – Electricity Meets Heat” to support the state’s expansion goals, with the aim of raising awareness around the technology and promoting its expansion. A strong alliance of around 150 partners from companies and research institutes, associations and interest groups has come together under the umbrella of the campaign, which combines and intensifies the activities in the field of CHP across NRW and covers all CHP technologies, power classes and fuels. Marketsurvey.CHP (“Marktführer.KWK”) is a tool created as part of the campaign to explain the energy-efficient CHP principle to members of the public with an interest in this technology. (www.kwk-für-nrw.de)
Fuels and drives: North Rhine-Westphalia is not only a key energy region, it is also important in terms of fuel, with its refineries processing about 25 percent of the crude oil required in Germany. There are over 11 million registered vehicles in NRW and the number is rising. Moreover, road traffic in NRW consumes around 9 million tonnes of mineral oil every year, a figure that corresponds to 20 percent of sales in Germany. CO2 emissions can be reduced and the climate protected by increasing the energy efficiency of engines, using alternative fuels and switching to drives powered by renewable energies. The main focus here is on cars, trucks, buses, air and rail transport and inland navigation.
Currently, the main approach to reducing the greenhouse gases associated with fuel use is the use of biofuels blended with fossil fuels. There are biodiesel producers in Lünen, Neuss and Südlohn which are among the largest in Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia has a good refuelling station infrastructure for natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) throughout the state. Research and development projects of North Rhine-Westphalian partners are playing an important role in the development of synthetic (bio)fuels and new fuel components. Important projects include the DFG-funded cluster of excellence “Fuel Science Center” at RWTH Aachen University and the “BioMates”, “Carbon2Chem” and “C3 Mobility” projects of the German government and the European Union. These projects aim to store and use surplus renewable energy in fuels with a high energy density (power-to-fuel).
North Rhine-Westphalian companies are also participating in activities to test liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the market as an alternative fuel for heavy trucks and inland navigation. Adding biogas to LNG gives it a renewable component, creating a product known as bio-LNG and there are several innovation projects in this area. The INTERREG VA project “LNG PILOTS” aims to promote the development of innovative solutions for the creation of a filling station infrastructure and, under the EU-LIFE project “Clean Inland Shipping” (CLINSH), measures are being tested to reduce pollutants in the exhaust gases of ships under real operating conditions over a period of four years. Under the NRW project “LeanDeR - LNG” a multimodal LNG infrastructure is being created at the Port of Duisburg.
Statistics on passenger car numbers provide information on the diversification of the market for fuel and drives. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, there were a total of 9.95 million passenger cars in North Rhine-Westphalia on 01.01.2018 (compared to 46.4 million in Germany as a whole). Approximately 66 percent of cars ran on petrol and 31 percent on diesel. The proportion of passenger cars with alternative fuels and drives (LPG, natural gas, hybrid, electric) was 2.18 percent (compared to 2.1 percent the year before), including 146,891 cars running on LPG, 46,586 hybrid cars (of which 7,879 were plug-in hybrids), 14,847 natural gas cars and 9,058 purely battery-electric cars.
North Rhine-Westphalia offers a charging infrastructure with 5,156 charging points for electric vehicles (source: “Going Electric”, November 2018), whilst Germany has a reported 34,746 charging points. (www.energieagentur.nrw/mobilitaet/netzwerk-kraftstoffe)
Regional Network for Energy Efficiency in Companies: The Regional Network for Energy Efficiency in Companies ("Landesnetzwerk Energieeffizienz in Unternehmen") supports and promotes networking among companies around the subject of energy efficiency and climate protection, focussing on the exchange of experience and knowledge, and the associated learning processes, at regional level. Within the company networks, 8 to 15 companies get together to define specific joint energy efficiency targets for themselves. The state network acts as regional coordinator for the nationwide Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative set up to aid the establishment of company networks. There are 40 energy efficiency networks in NRW working under the initiative, with more than 70 such networks overall in NRW.
In 2018, the state network continued its cooperation with the professional associations (Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), Chamber of Crafts (HWK)) and the trade and industry associations at state level. (www.energieagentur.nrw/energieeffizienz/landesnetzwerk-unternehmen)
Networks and Storage network: The Networks and Storage network is responsible for issues relating to energy infrastructure and energy storage. As Germany's No. 1 industrial region, NRW plays a key infrastructure role in the energy transition. Newly constructed renewable energy plants and storage facilities have to be integrated into regional distribution grids, and transmission requirements on the national grid have to be coordinated centrally from NRW at national and international level. The Networks and Storage network integrates players from all areas of society into these processes. This mainly takes place within the working groups (WG) (WG 1: Transmission Networks, WG 2: Distribution Networks, WG 3: Storage and WG 4: Gas Infrastructure) and at their events.
Besides its activities in the working groups, the network supports companies with technical expertise and helps with innovation projects. Linking up companies and institutions throughout the value chain helps promote a close exchange between business, science and public institutions. In addition, the Networks and Storage network organises symposiums and workshops that provide added value for its network partners, and in particular SMEs. Specialist brochures, newsletters and up-to-date information can be found on the website. (www.energieagentur.nrw/netze)
NRW Solar Register: In November 2018, a new map – the state-wide NRW solar roof register – was published in the EnergyAtlas.NRW. The approximately eleven million roofs in North Rhine-Westphalia represent a substantial potential resource for converting solar energy into electricity using photovoltaics to produce around 68 terawatt hours of electricity per year. Every homeowner in NRW can now find out at the click of a mouse whether, and to what extent, their roof is suitable for the installation of solar panels (both photovoltaic and solar thermal). An additional solar calculator uses the roof shape and angle, as well as individual settings such as electricity consumption, load profile, storage system, etc., to work out the economics of a solar system, and can serve as the 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 region in question. (www.energieatlas.nrw.de; www.solarkataster.nrw.de)
Solar thermal: At the end of 2018, more than 2.3 million solar thermal systems with a collector surface area of more than 20 million m2 and a thermal capacity of 14 gigawatts were installed in Germany. (www.bsw-solar.de)
According to an analysis of BAFA and progres.nrw funding figures by EnergyAgency.NRW, a total collector surface area of almost 1.5 million m² was installed in NRW at the end of 2016, producing approximately 580 GWh of heat per year. The heat register at EnergyAtlas.NRW provides a clear overview of the situation for the various municipalities and districts. (www.energieatlas.nrw.de)
Heat pumps: “Electricity from the Sun, Heat from the Pump” is the latest campaign by NRW Heat Pump Marketplace. Heat pumps help users save on their heating costs and protect the environment by utilising a large proportion of renewable heat from the environment, and can be used in conjunction with PV systems. Mother Nature provides environmental heat, for example heat from groundwater, the earth or the air, free of charge anywhere and everywhere. And, for many, the fact that a heat pump can also be used for highly cost-effective cooling is an added bonus. This is why around 40 percent of new buildings in Germany, as well as many existing buildings, are now heated using heat pumps. To convince NRW residents of the benefits of the heat pump, the NRW Heat Pump Marketplace and NRW Photovoltaics Initiative have launched a campaign a called “Electricity from the Sun, Heat from the Pump” along with an information tour throughout NRW. In addition to brochures, and information on funding opportunities, experts from EnergyAgency.NRW are also on hand. In 2018, around 84,000 new heat pumps were installed in Germany, 15,000 of them in NRW and of the 880,000 heat pumps currently installed across the country, over 170,000 (around 20 percent) are generating environmentally friendly heat in NRW. (www.energieagentur.nrw/waermepumpen)
Education, awareness raising and motivation: As part of its knowledge management programme, EnergyAgency.NRW is offering a wide range of training and education formats for different target groups, as well as various concepts for raising awareness and encouraging energy-conscious behaviour. By the end of the year, around 811 secondary school pupils from years 5 and 6 in NRW had taken part in the project “ClimateKidz – Climate Change and Renewable Energies”, and the module “ClimateTeens – Energy and Plastics in Everyday Life” offering experiments for pupils in years 7 to 9 had reached a total of 917 youngsters. Over 2,000 participants attended specialist seminars on a wide range of energy topics, and "mission E” – EnergyAgency.NRW's award-winning concept for encouraging employees to adopt energy-conscious behaviour on an ongoing basis – reached a total of around 331,000 people in 2018. (www.missionE.nrw).
EnergieAgentur.NRW; Roßstraße 92; 40476 Düsseldorf; Telephone: 0211 866420
Head of Communication:
Dr. Joachim Frielingsdorf
Telephone: 0202 2455219
42103 Wuppertal, Germany
Press spokesperson for innovations and networks:
Uwe H. Burghardt M.A.
Telephone: 0211 8664213
Internet: www.energieagentur.nrw, www.energieregion.nrw.de, www.cef.nrw.de
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