Energy Concepts

Development of a regional concept for energy management for the region of Karlsruhe

Using the Karlsruhe region as an example, energy supply systems have been subject to inter-disciplinary analysis in order to identify forward-looking options for the inter-company combination of energy flows. The new construction of a centralised gas and steam turbine plant has been identified as an optimum solution. This arrangement can be used to replace approximately 50% of existing installations, resulting in annual cost savings of up to 20%



Thus the objective of this study has been the exemplary analysis of how a reoriented energy supply of energy intensive companies can lead to a more sustainable economy. Due to a high regional concentration of energy intensive industrial plants, energy transformation plants and the enormous material and energy flows involved, the area of the Rhine Harbour of Karlsruhe seemed to be a suitable region for such an examination.

Here the potential of co-operations in consideration of connected energy and material flows has been analysed in collaboration with several local industrial companies. Special consideration has been given to the evaluation of options for an adequate design of different energy supply options considering technical, economic and ecological viewpoints, as well as the quantification of the resulting economic and ecological effects.

The pilot nature of this project, in terms of coupling energy flows between industrial companies, required the development of a practical method for the identification of qualified and sustainable investments.


  • The analysis' results show an improvement with both the renewal of single plants and inter-company options when compared to the forecasted development of the reference case. The economically optimal solution is the construction of a central combined cycle power plant running as a combined heat and power plant (CHP). This gas fired heat and power plant replaces approximately half of the existing plants.
  • Like other co-operative solutions, inter-company energy supply concepts have to overcome different barriers. The most important barriers are the dependency on the partners, the loss of control of resources and decisions, and the lack of information regarding potential partners. Therefore it is necessary to create a trustfulness relationship between the partners in order to establish efficient structures. A neutral coordinator can be useful for these processes of activation and initialisation but also to support intense communication between the network partners.
  • Finally, it can be concluded that the effort required to build a network of several companies is often underestimated. The creation of such a network can only be successful through the intensive co-operation of all parties involved. Despite the adverse general conditions (e.g. caused by the liberalisation of the electricity market) this project shows that network options can be identified to the benefit of all industrial partners

Project Participants

Implementing Institution

Karlsruher Institute of Technology, Institute for Industrial Production (IIP)

Cooperation partner

Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Institut für Soziologie (IfSoz)

Städtisches Klärwerk Karlsruhe

Stadtwerke Karlsruhe GmbH

Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Werk Wörth

Stora Enso Maxau GmbH & Co. KG

Mineralölraffinerie Oberrhein GmbH & Co. KG (MiRO)

Borregaard Deutschland GmbH, LignoTech Werk Karlsruhe

Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT)

More Project Informations

Project title:  Development of a regional concept for energy management for the region of Karlsruhe

Project number:  07REG09/8

Project period:  1999 - 2002

Project region:  Germany (Baden-Württemberg)

Project contact:

Herr Prof. i.R. Dr. rer. nat Rentz

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

++ 49/721/608-4460

++ 49/721/758-909

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Source: German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB)