What is a Quartermaster

Decentralized energy supply in the district

It is expected that increasing re-urbanization will lead to further densification of living spaces in the coming years. This trend is expected above all for the major German cities. As a result, the importance of such urban living quarters will increase significantly. This development enables additional approaches for highly efficient heat and power generation if these properties are supplied decentrally. District supply with combined heat and power and the use of direct electricity can therefore noticeably lead to CO2- Contribute to savings in real estate. However, under current legal regulations, the concept is not yet economically feasible everywhere. This is the central message of a panel discussion with experts from politics, the housing industry and science that Techem (www.techem.de) invited to Munich at the beginning of October 2014. According to the panel, the achievement of the national energy targets will in future also depend on how politicians and the housing industry succeed in designing and promoting such supply concepts.

Franzjosef Schafhausen, head of the department “Climate Protection Policy; Europe and International ”in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Andrea Wagner, coordinator of the progressive college“ Energy Efficiency in the Quarter ”at the Chair for Urban Development and Land Use Planning at the University of Dortmund, Cord Müller, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Aalen, Ferdinand Schmack, Managing Director of Ferdinand Schmack jun. GmbH and Hans-Lothar Schäfer, CEO of Techem GmbH.

Nerve of the time

Decentralized forms of energy and electricity generation will have to play a role across the board in the future, according to the unanimous statement of the podium. Franzjosef Schafhausen emphasized that the previous success of neighborhood projects and climate protection concepts at the local level shows that energy policy funding has hit a nerve with the times. That is why the question of neighborhood renovation has been receiving a lot of attention from politicians for several years.

Decentralized energy generation or the compensation of fluctuating supply are aspects in which spatially delimited residential and commercial structures play a special role in achieving the national climate targets. “However, the creation of neighborhood structures is not a panacea for solving all energy policy tasks in Germany. Rather, the energetic renovation of the district is an important individual aspect of an overall national climate concept, ”says Franzjosef Schafhausen.

Sum of many components

Decentralized energy and electricity generation through combined heat and power is up to 40% more efficient than the separate generation of heat and electricity. Correspondingly, it uses less fuel, which leads to a reduction in CO2Emissions. In order to implement this on a broad basis, however, many individual components would have to work together and economic and political framework conditions would have to be adapted, according to the expert opinion. For example, it is important to sensitize the residents of a neighborhood to questions of energy generation on site. Only when the residents identify with “their” CHP could locally generated direct electricity be marketed competitively compared to centrally generated energy. Cord Müller explained: "The creation of transparency in the presentation of the cost advantages is an extremely important lever for success." The willingness of residents to buy direct electricity in the long term increases the higher these cost advantages are. “General climate protection goals alone are not enough.” Andrea Wagner also confirmed this assessment. The fact that a link between power generation and the use of waste heat has not yet established itself across the board has to do with the fact that residents and owners do not have to deal with the issue. "If you live in existing buildings, the pressure to think about alternative supply technologies independently of necessary structural renovation measures is simply not there at the moment." Costs for network fees, concession fees and electricity tax the economic implementation. These obligations stand in the way of highly efficient technology. "

With united forces

Ferdinand Schmack, on the other hand, also sees challenges in new buildings and considers the dismantling of regulations to be particularly sensible: "In many cases there is a lack of outdated and outdated planning law. The separation of functions in the 1970s is no longer tenable in the neighborhoods we envision for the future. For example, the strict separation of residential and commercial areas no longer makes sense. However, this also has an impact on the needs: electricity, mobility and even heat requirements. "

Hans-Lothar Schäfer also believes that a comprehensive approach is indispensable: "We see that in the real estate sector there is often very singular action." In both new and existing buildings, system technology, building envelope and also the user and his behavior have to be considered together and develop individual concepts based on this. The unanimous tenor of the panel of experts was that this could hardly be achieved for politics and the housing industry, both in terms of content and from an economic point of view. "When implementing these concepts, the housing industry must therefore be able to rely on experienced service providers who are ready to bear the investment costs of modern supply services, e.g. through contracting, and to support them in the complex task of system operation, electricity sales and supply," says Schäfer. Then a decentralized energy supply in the district through combined heat and power will not only drive the energy transition in real estate. It also promotes socially acceptable living by reducing construction costs and curbing energy price increases.

The panel discussion took place on the fringes of the real estate fair Expo Real on October 7, 2014 in Munich.