In this episode, we talk to energy expert Stefan Schwan of Engie Germany. Our subject: How is the energy transition succeeding at the level of neighbourhood developments? What role do mobility concepts, digitalisation and the electrification of heat generation play in this?
Stefan Schwan is director of the business unit Energy & Facility Solutions at Engie Germany. He is responsible for energy generation and supply and advises companies on their path to climate neutrality. In a joint venture with GASAG, Engie Germany is operating the “Quartierswerk” utility on Gartenfeld Island, where an forward-thinking model urban development with around 3,700 apartments is currently under construction.
As an energy partner, Quartierswerk is developing the new district’s technical and energy backbone. Its focus on people and the environment, “The New Gartenfeld” will be a holistically planned development in which around 10,000 people will live and work. Most importantly, this includes an ecologically and economically sustainable energy supply that is fit for the future.
Heating with electricity: the electrification of heating
The aim is to secure as much of the supply as possible with renewable energy sources, including electricity generated on site from solar energy – for electromobility, electricity for tenants as well as for heat. Heating with electricity? On Gartenfeld Island, a so-called iKWK system, an innovative combined heat and power system in which surplus electricity from photovoltaics as well as biomethane gases can be used to generate heat, is planned for this purpose.
Energy expert Stefan Schwan is convinced: “The trend is moving in the direction of electrifying heat generation.” But this can only be achieved through efficiency. “Heat pump technology also comes into question here,” Schwan says. With the help of electricity, in this process geothermal energy is efficiently raised to the required temperature level for heating. Geothermal energy has enormous potential for supplying heat, but at present it often falls short due to concerns regarding water legislation, which are unfounded due to the latest technologies, according to Schwan.
The energy transition in neighbourhood developments is being advanced with innovative solutions. Hydrogen will also grow in importance, but is still unaffordable today, Schwan says. We talk to him about this, digitalisation and sustainable mobility concepts in an interview.
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