EnerActTangible Approaches to the Energy Turn and related Societal Megatrends

The Energy Turn involves a fundamental transformation of the energy grid. In the project EnerAct, concepts are created for the realization of the Energy Turn in the cities, regions and municipalities of North-Rhine Westphalia. During this process they are accompanied by academics. Apart from the technological challenges actors face political, socio-economic and cultural factors which affect the long term developments of society. Such societal megatrends feed back into the development of the Energy Turn and thus demand concepts which take reciprocal effects into account when implementing projects. Knowledge, in this regard, contributes to concrete action plans and thus the success of the Energy Turn.

The project is funded by the Mercator Foundation. It is divided into four parts, each developing tangible approaches:

  • Innovative intercommunal thermal-supply for the “Neue Zeche Westerholt” in Gelsenkirchen-Herten
  • P2X-utilization in Wuppertal
  • Hydrogen trial region Emscher-Lippe
  • Concepts for the implementation of urban production in the Ruhr Area

The KWI in Essen is involved in the projects “P2X Nutzungspfade in Wuppertal“ and „Wasserstoffmodellregion Emscher-Lippe”.

P2X-Utilization in Wuppertal

In this project, different small-scale utilizations of hydrogen are analyzed in cooperation with the Wuppertaler Stadtwerke WSW (Wuppertal public utility services). Relevant ways of utilization are identified through assessment, followed by the elaborate fleshing-out of one such concept.

The KWI’s (Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities) function is to analyse the aforementioned concepts in regard to sociocultural factors of societal megatrends.

Project Consortium:

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT;
  • Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behaviour at the E.ON Energy Research Center of the RWTH Aachen;
  • Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie gGmbH;
  • Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI Essen);
  • The Institute for Industrial Management FIR of RWTH Aachen University;
  • IAT – Institute for Work and Technology;
  • Praxispartner: Wuppertaler Stadtwerke WSW (Wuppertal public utility services)

Hydrogen Trial-Region Emscher-Lippe

This project’s aim is the development of a sustainable hydrogen economy at the intersection of climate- and resource protection on the one hand, and strategies for tackling the structural transformation on the other. For instance, an approach for the establishing of a hydrogen trial-region in the chemical cluster in the region Emscher-Lippe is being developed in cooperation with corporations and the Ministry for Economy, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State North-Rhine-Westphalia. The aim is to supply the region with future prospects which promote and are compatible with the Energy Turn, as well as strengthen the local economy. As a first step, the current state of the region and the chemical cluster are analysed. The second step then, is to investigate paths to a sustainable future together with organizations, companies and politics.
The KWI studies and analyses the regional-societal notion of hydrogen as well as potential ways to improve public perception.

Project Consortium:

  • Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie gGmbH
  • Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI Essen)
  • Praxispartner: Ministry for Economy, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State North-Rhine-Westphalia; Unternehmensverbund ChemSite; H2-Netzwerk-Ruhr.