Essen is a modern business, commercial and service metropolis in the heart of the Ruhr Area. Located in the very western part of Germany in North Rhine-Westphalia with a population of almost 600,000, Essen is home to the headquarters of some of Germany’s biggest companies and an important energy hub: These include e.g. RWE AG, Evonik Industries AG, E.ON SE, Innogy SE, Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH and Hochtief AG. The Messe Essen is one of the top-ten German trade fair locations. In 2017 Essen has been the “European Green Capital” for its efforts concerning the development “from grey to green” and the related successful transformation. The city of Essen has used this reward to deliver an impressive presentation of its sustainable development and that it is truly one of the greenest cities in Germany – right in the heart of what used to be the largest (coal) mining and steelproduction area in Europe.
The “Grüne Hauptstadt Agentur” (green capital agency, GHA), a staff unit of the department for environment, construction and sports in Essen, has been involved in SCORE since October 2018 as a Follower City and participated in the Partner Exchange Workshop in March 2019; following a SCORE workshop in June 2019 to develop local projects, the city of Essen became a full consortium member and pilot location in early 2020. Two pilot projects are envisaged: the district Vogelheim and the Franz Sales House, a non-profit institution for disabled people with branches all over the city. Pilot implementation will be coordinated by the GHA with the support of the municipal utility and the local stakeholders with the backing of the SCORE consortium partners.
As of today, around 1,800 PV facilities are installed on public and private buildings, nearly 200 facilities for co-generation of heat and power are running, and wind power is being discussed. With regard to consumer (co-)ownership, the Solar Cooperative Essen with around 200 members has installed PV-panels on 18 roofs (the last one operative as of 2013, mostly on public schools) leased for a symbolic price from the municipality with the complete production fed in to the public grid. The nation-wide StromSparcheck carried out by SCORE partner Caritas is implemented extremely successfully in Essen under the brand “EnergieSparService Essen” by the Neue Arbeit der Diakonie e.V. (which was already present at the SCORE workshop in Essen in June 2019). The city of Essen wants to actively participate in the further expansion of REs. The funding of the planned investments in RE projects with a focus on regional self-consumption is to be co-financed by a supplement of 0.2 ct per consumed kWh on the certified green electricity supply of city (approx. 194,000Euro/year).
Over the lifetime of the SCORE project, an additional 650 kWp is to be installed with the help of private (co-)investments corresponding to an overall capacity dynamic increase. At least 200 households are expected to be included and turned from consumers into prosumers. Considering the annual energy demand of these 200 households and the anticipated energy savings of 368 kWh per household, the expected energy savings resulting from a change of consumption behaviour are expected to amount to 73,600 kWh (368 kWh * 200 households =73,600 kWh) per year.