Concept

for energy and material flow management

Modern water management requires a lot of energy. The Emschergenossenschaft has for some time been engaging with the topics of independent energy generation, energy optimisation, and the use of regenerative energies.

The Emschergenossenschaft and Lippeverband are the largest wastewater treatment plant operators in Germany. The 56 wastewater treatment plants on the Emscher and Lippe alone today consist largely of high-tech machinery and electrical technology, and consume around 170 million kWh. Large volumes of residual materials from wastewater treatment are collected here, particularly in the form of sewage sludge. Sewage sludge is a valuable fuel.

Despite very high energy consumption, wastewater treatment plants have significant potential for energy generation. Sewage sludge and sewage gas are fuels that can be stored – the sewage gas extracted is already being placed in interim storage today. Hydrogen can be added as an additional storage medium. Sun and wind are important regenerative energy sources in this network. Through the combination of These technologies for energy generation, the wastewater treatment plant becomes a hybrid power plant. All components must be intelligently networked and controlled. We are working on creating such networks, initially for individual plant locations such as our wastewater treatment plant in Bottrop.

Continuously reviewing and increasing energy efficiency is a high priority for us, for technical, economic and ecological reasons. One important approach is to optimise energy utilisation, i.e. saving energy and increasing the use of regenerative energies. At our wastewater treatment plant in Bottrop, over 60 percent of the required energy is generated on the spot by climate-friendly processes. In addition to economic aspects, the focus is also on security of supply.

Our concept for energy and material flow management is intended to identify opportunities for energy optimisation and further development. This is because the water management renovation of our Region simultaneously also needs to make a substantial contribution to future-oriented energy, climate protection and structural change in the Emscher region.