RWTH Contributes to Living Lab for Germany’s Energy Transition
On May 1, 2020, the second ‘living lab’ supporting the German transition to renewables started under the title of TransUrban.NRW.
In ‘living labs,’ several innovative technologies are coupled and tested on an industrial scale in a real-world environment.
Under the direction of E.ON Energy Solutions GmbH, three RWTH professors from the E.ON Energy Research Center are contributing to the project: Professor Dirk Müller, head of the Institute of Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate, Professor Antonello Monti, head of the Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems, and Aaron Praktiknjo, Junior Professor of Energy Resource and Innovation Economics, are working on putting innovations in the area of energy system transformation into practice.
TransUrban.NRW focuses on the cities of Gelsenkirchen, Mönchengladbach, Herne, and Erkrath, all located in a former coal mining region that is marked by structural change. The aim is to transform the traditional district heating supply via high-temperature and steam networks into a low CO2 supply system. Renewable energy from geothermal sources, wastewater, and low-temperature waste heat are to be fed into the supply on a large scale. The low temperature networks required for this will be newly constructed or integrated into the existing infrastructure.
Each city will act as a living lab for a certain key innovation. The findings gained in this project can then be applied to similar locations in Germany.
The "TransUrban.NRW" project proposal is one of the 20 winners of an ideas competition launched by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy in early 2019. TransUrban.NRW has a project budget of 35 million euros.