Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

German smart energy tech for renewables

William Payne
October 14, 2016
Germany’s northern-most region is aiming to develop an advanced energy system from December this year that will result in the region being 100 percent dependent on renewable energy by 2035. To off-set the potential risk of relying 100 percent on renewables to a region that has one of Europe’s largest ports and major companies, the region is implementing an “innovation alliance” to create smart energy technologies and infrastructure to ensure continual energy provision.

As part of the Norddeutsche Energiewende (NEW) 4.0 project, the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein have been merged into a single energy region. NEW 4.0 aims to demonstrate within a European context that energy transition to 100 percent renewables is feasible.

NEW 4.0 will showcase how a region with 4.5 million residents can be supplied with regenerative energy as early as 2035 using 100 percent safe, affordable, eco-friendly and socially acceptable energy sources that can lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions by 50 to 70%.

To this end, about 60 regional and transregional partners have formed an "innovation alliance" that aims to overcome the challenges of the energy transition based on integrated technological expertise. The project is supported by the state governments of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein as well as by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs (BMWI). Around EUR 90 million will be invested by the project partners within the next four years, and the BMWI is supporting this showcase project (SINTEG - Smart Energy Showcase) to the tune of EUR 44 million. The overall strategy, some 100 individual projects as well as 30 demonstrators have been developed over the course of the project's three-year preparation phase.

70% of the region is to be supplied with renewable electricity as early as 2025.

Stakeholders from all industries and along the energy sector's entire value chain have joined forces for the NEW 4.0 project. Participating companies will be able to tap new market and export opportunities with product innovations and solutions developed in the context of the project and to boost their competitiveness within a highly innovative growth market. Based on this project, the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg aim to strengthen their regional economies and to create new industrial value chains, which will contribute to securing and creating jobs in the region. And, finally, the project will enable Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein to sharpen their profile as a leading innovation location for the energy sector in particular.

The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is already one of the main centres for renewable energy in Europe. Among industry experts and beyond, Hamburg is considered as the international wind energy capital. Today, 2/3 of the global know-how in wind energy is located in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg or the neighbouring region encompassing Schleswig-Holstein and Jutland, Denmark. Around 25,000 people work for nearly 1,500 renewable energy companies. The most important contribution to this has been made by wind energy.

Major wind industry players such as DONG Energy, Nordex, Senvion, Siemens and Vestas, have headquarters in Hamburg.

Prof. Werner Beba, project coordinator of NEW 4.0., explains: "This is the first time that the interplay of different technological approaches,the targeted integration into the energy market and the application of the regulatory framework will be tested in an orchestrated manner as part of this large-scale practical trial, and this is what makes NEW 4.0.both unique and challenging. The findings of this project will contribute to making the necessary transformation of the entire energy system a success."