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06/29/2020 | Pressemitteilung

Sun supplies new sports hall: Successful example of regional value creation

The sun supplies the task hall in the Auepark sports center with renewable energy. City building councilor Christof Nolda has now commissioned a photovoltaic system on the roof of the building together with Prof. Dr. Martin Hein, head and moderator of the climate protection council of the city of Kassel, and Thomas Flügge, managing director of cdw Stiftung gGmbH.

Image: City of Kassel / Bernd Schoelzchen
From left: Dr. Ines Wilkens (University of Kassel), Thomas Flügge (cdw Stiftung gGmbH), Prof. Dr. Martin Hein (Head/Moderator Climate Protection Council), City Building Councilor Christof Nolda

"Every kilogram of CO2 that we avoid through renewable energy systems such as those on our new task hall is a small point victory against the impending climate collapse and an important building block for the energy production of the future," emphasized city building councilor Nolda. The new hall was made possible by the Transfer and Application Center for Sport in Kassel (task) cooperation project initiated by the city and the university. It involves close cooperation between the two institutions with the aim of transferring sports-related projects from scientific research work to practical sports applications. The new sports hall is also home to a 120-square-meter exercise room and office space for employees of the University of Kassel and the city of Kassel working on task projects.

New photovoltaic system saves 15 tons of CO2 per year

The photovoltaic system, with a rated output of just under 30 kilowatts/peak, is used to power operations in the hall, which is used as a sports facility by schools, clubs and the university. It saves the equivalent of 15 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. In order to bind this amount of the climate-damaging gas from the air, 1200 beech trees would have to be planted.  

The photovoltaic system was realized thanks to the cooperation agreed two years ago between the city of Kassel and the Kassel-based cdw Stiftung gGmbH. This provides for annual investments in PV systems on roofs of buildings in the city of Kassel with an average volume of 100,000 euros by the foundation as a donation to the city of Kassel. According to the contract concluded, the funds saved on energy supplies with the systems will be invested by the city in further systems or energy savings - resulting in a wave of climate-friendly investments.   

Nolda: Pioneering cooperation contributes to regional value creation

 "Our pioneering cooperation with the cdw Foundation shows how renewable energy plants can not only protect the climate, but also contribute to regional value creation at the same time through intelligent partnerships," Nolda emphasized. The regional approach is also being discussed very intensively in the Climate Protection Council, as Prof. Dr. Martin Hein confirmed. The former bishop of the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck chairs and moderates the body, which began its work in February 2020.

"I am delighted with the quality of the discourse so far and with the common consensus in the objective of supporting and shaping the political decision as a city society to be climate neutral by 2030," Prof. Dr. Hein reported on the first few months. "With the Climate Protection Council and the thematic workshops, we have already succeeded in winning 100 people for the binding work process - by September, about another 40 will be added. I hope that this commitment will make waves and show all Kassel residents that we can master the task of the century, climate protection, together and that we must take action now."  

Decentralized energy supply important building block for limiting climate change

"It is important to us as a foundation to move from knowledge to action. Limiting climate change is the most urgent task of our time, and decentralized energy supply based on renewable energies is one of the most important building blocks," explained Thomas Flügge, Managing Director of the cdw Foundation. "The energy turnaround must be implemented now. We are pleased that the region has clearly committed to this and that we have very motivated partners in the city of Kassel and the University of Kassel."

After the first plant on the roof of the Student Research Center North Hesse at the Albert Schweitzer School and the plant on the roof of the task Hall, another three plants are already firmly planned for 2020 in the cooperation between the city of Kassel and the cdw Foundation. Some of them will also be built with storage solutions on the roofs of the Heidewegschule, Valentin-Traudt-Schule and Lückert-Schule. 

Almost two billion euros from and for the North Hesse region

A recent study by the University of Kassel shows that locally oriented projects in the decentralized energy industry contribute to regional value creation. From it, Dr. Ines Wilkens, a research associate in the Department of Economics with a focus on decentralized energy management, reported, "According to our calculations, about 4.5 billion euros were spent on renewable energies in our region between 2000 and 2018. Of this, 43 percent - or about 1.93 billion euros - was kept in Northern Hesse."

Due to the investment boom between 2009 and 2012, photovoltaics had the largest share in this, at about 61 percent. The situation is similar for the city of Kassel: Here, 149 million euros were spent on renewable energies - mainly photovoltaics. Of this, a good 60 million euros were kept in Kassel and the surrounding area. "These effects can only be maintained at the high level through steady investment," Dr. Wilkens elaborated.

Study can provide important impetus for climate protection council

This study can provide important impetus for the work of the Climate Protection Council of the city of Kassel, said its moderator Prof. Dr. Hein. The Climate Protection Council will meet for the second time on June 25, 2020. Since the kick-off in February, members have not been deterred by the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic and have exchanged views in topic workshops.  

The Climate Protection Council accompanies the city of Kassel on its way to the ambitious goal of becoming climate neutral by 2030. Around 30 relevant institutions and organizations from Kassel's civil society, business and scientific communities are represented on the body.   

Thematic workshops prepare deliberations in the Climate Protection Council

City Planning Councilor Nolda, together with Prof. Dr. Martin Hein, reported on the successful progress so far since the introduction of the Climate Protection Council. In May and June, four of eight thematic workshops began their work and have already met several times: 

- Neighborhoods and Buildings, 

- Energy supply,

- mobility

- acceptance, communication, citizen participation, education.

There is a very constructive and productive working atmosphere in the thematic workshops. This has already produced the first ten concrete proposals for measures from the various fields of action in climate protection. The Climate Protection Council is to discuss the following five of the ten proposals for measures developed so far at its second meeting:

- a heat management plan, 

- a solar campaign to stimulate the installation of solar energy systems on building roofs through motivation, awareness-raising, information and targeted advice, 

- a municipal actors network to promote the implementation of the energy transition in private buildings,

- a package of mobility measures, and 

- the connection of nearby buildings to Kassel's district heating network, as well as network expansion and densification in the districts of Waldau, Industriegebiet and Mitte.

With the start of the thematic workshops, about 50 additional people and thus a total of more than 100 people are involved in the overall process. Further theme workshops will be constituted at the end of August. "Already this first balance is really impressive, especially against the background of the Corona pandemic, and encouraging in view of the challenges ahead," said Nolda. "The city of Kassel would like to express its sincere thanks to all those involved for their great, voluntary commitment."