Energy transition: 2 million euros for CO2-free energy in Thuringian companies (ZO.RRO)

The largest Thuringian research project on CO2-free industrial energy supply (ZO.RRO) is starting its second phase. Energy Minister Anja Siegesmund presented around EUR 2 million in funding for the project today at the ZO.RRO final conference at the Zentralheize in Erfurt. For the participating Thuringian companies, the preparations for the path to climate-neutral and CO2-free production now begins.

23.05.2022
Created by Thuringian Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation.

"The companies in the state want clean, secure and stable-priced energy. It is a location factor for secure jobs and value creation. This was also shown last week by the discussion with the Federal Minister of Economics, Habeck, with 30 Thuringian companies. Things have changed. That's why we are doing everything in our power to push ahead with the energy transition in close cooperation between politics, business and science. The rapid expansion of wind and solar energy is more urgent than ever," said Energy Minister Anja Siegesmund.

"The energy profiles as well as production facilities of more than 20 predominantly small and medium-sized industrial companies were analyzed and detailed, individual concepts for reducing CO2 emissions were created for eight companies," says Jana Liebe, head of the ZO.RRO communications office. In addition, the joint partners in the federal project developed suitable system solutions in form of the "ZO.RRO Box" as well as a CO2 monitoring tool for recording energy and CO2 consumption in real time.

In the first ZO.RRO phase (Zero Carbon Cross Energy System), new insights into the decarbonization of industry were gained using Thuringia as an example, with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK), the Thuringian Energy Ministry and the Technische Universität Ilmenau. Specifically, the second phase of the project will focus on flexible production processes, CO2-optimal operation through renewable generation facilities. "The ZO.RRO state project is now planning to prepare the demonstrators in 2022 with the participating companies in terms of measurement and control infrastructure," Liebe continued.

From this, the flexible modes of operation with novel methods are to be derived later with the entire consortium. "Companies from industry and commerce can thus make an important contribution to the energy transition and at the same time achieve CO2 reduction and economic production methods in the company.”

Energy system model 2040
In the first phase of the research project, the Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences developed a digital energy transition calculator in cooperation with researchers from Fraunhofer IOSB AST and Technische Universität Ilmenau. The research team was able to use it to model and demonstrate a climate-neutral energy system in Thuringia: A climate-neutral Thuringia is secure in terms of supply, cheaper in the long term and associated with more regional value creation than the status quo.

The most important instruments for achieving this are binding expansion targets for renewable energies and clear reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions, according to the researchers

"With the novel simulator from Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences, Thuringia is able to virtually map and configure its energy system," emphasizes Prof. Dr. Viktor Wesselak. This provides an enormously valuable tool for energy policy. "The energy transition calculator functions as an open source software and is available to other federal states, municipalities, energy suppliers, municipal utilities and companies," Wesselak continues.

"In addition, energy system modeling made it possible to simulate the energy supply of the future and thus to determine scientifically which technologies will be needed and to what extent." The resulting open source tool is now being further developed, is available to other stakeholders and federal states, and supports energy policy decisions.

Background
"ZO.RRO" stands for Zero Carbon Cross Energy System. The project develops solutions for CO2 reduction in the energy supply of industry together with small and medium-sized enterprises in Thuringia. The project was supported in Phase I by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Thuringian Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation (TMUEN). The subsequent project phase ZO.RRO II will serve the concrete implementation of the developed concepts with participating companies. As in phase I, co-financing by the TMUEN and the BMWK is envisaged. The outline of the ZO.RRO II federal project for a second project phase has been submitted and the evaluation is still pending.

The aim of all activities in ZO.RRO II is to demonstrate solutions for decarbonization to small and medium-sized enterprises, and thus in particular to Thuringia's industry, in the field of energy supply and to implement these solutions in individual lighthouse projects.

Contact
ZO.RRO Communications Office: Dipl.-Geogr. Jana Liebe, +49 361 663 82 280

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