Status of RE-actions in Aller-Leine-Valley
Within its energy study, released in 2012, the Aller-Leine-Valley has envisaged to become a 100% renewable energy region. While the electricity sector is on a good track, the heat sector indicates a major challenge to be targeted by a set of renewable energy actions.
In the course of past 100%RES-workshops and related capacity building events three promising actions were selected, resulting from a broad stakeholder dialogue carried out in Aller-Leine-Valley. Here is an overview on the implementation status of measures:
1. Geothermal Energy/ heat pump usage in combination with a district heating network.
Feasibility studies for this action have been commissioned by the communities Hodenhagen and Hambühren, as they represent suitable locations to exploit middle-deep geothermal energy. Besides, Rethem municipality is about to undertake a feasibility study. (Rethem had already launched a dialogue with local actors on the feasibility of geothermal energy). The community representatives have signalized strong support for the project. The action will be financed via a successful application and participation in the LEADER programme (starting summer 2015) as one part of the overall regional development concept of the Aller-Leine-Valley.
2. Heat pump (system) with river source in combination with local district heating network.
In the course of the 100%RES workshops the pre-selected suitable sites for the action (energy study 2012) were reviewed by political representatives and the author of the energy study. After a voting among political leaders from all eight communities one location (Hudemühlen), in municipality of Hodenhagen, was prioritized. In the aftermath, the remaining workshop sessions were used to examine in-depth possible technological combinations, environmental risks and legal implications. This was particularly important as an action of this (small) size has not yet been carried out in Germany, thus it shows definite pilot character. For the time being, the action is still in need of funding for carrying out a feasibility study (including particularly technical and economic aspects). The further implementation of the action has been incorporated into the LEADER project proposal of the Aller-Leine-Valley.
3. Energy generation from solar energy combined with storage technology.
The energy study had already highlighted the still remaining potential for exploiting sun energy in the region. During the 100%RES workshops this action was conceptualized from scratch. The action foresees a combination of using sun power and storage solutions. It could also be used to enhance the share of renewables in the mobility sector. Various pilot projects and business models were introduced during the workshop sessions. At this state, conducting a feasibility study is still too early. The action will be planned in greater depth in year 2015 as part of the LEADER-programme.
Among all three actions, action 1 is the most mature and likely to be implemented once the application for funding turns out successful. Action 2 needs to be scrutinized within a feasibility study. The action needed time and effort to be prepared thoroughly within the 100%RES-workshops, as no experience at municipal application level exists so far. Here relevant expert input and getting inspiration from existing big scale projects in Germany and Switzerland was an asset.