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Innovation alliance for the project of the century, the energy transition 50 partners from Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein start new major project ‘NEW 4.0’ for the energy supply system of the future

Innovative solutions and outstanding commitment are required for the energy transition project of the century. Under the banner of NEW 4.0, the forces of business, science and politics in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein gathered to form a project initiative with the aim of realising a sustainable energy supply for the entire region. Around 50 regional and cross-regional partners form a well-connected and capable ‘Innovation alliance for the project of the century, the energy revolution’, which is supported by both state governments. NEW stands for the “Norddeutsche EnergieWende” (North German energy transition).

Hamburg's Senator for Economic Affairs, Frank Horch, declared that, “We want and need a realistic, marketable picture in a model region. We are concerned not only with the scientifically and technically feasible, but also – given the energy transition – how we can master our practical challenges sustainably. With this project, we are forging a unique innovation alliance for the North. The participating companies stand to seize new market opportunities, and the entire region benefits from the creation of jobs. With this, the North of Germany will have a permanent place on the world map of renewable energy.”

The aim of the innovation alliance is to synchronise the estimated 15,000 to 20,000 MW generation potential for electricity from renewable energy sources in Schleswig-Holstein’s coastal region with the Hamburg metropolitan region by way of optimally matching generation and consumption using the latest technologies and advanced market rules. NEW 4.0 will showcase that a region with 4.5 million inhabitants can be reliably and fully supplied with renewable energy as early as 2035. This concept could be extended to other regions in Germany and Europe.

A five-member team from industry and research heads the innovation alliance: Prof Dr Werner Beba, Head of Competence Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CC4E) at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, Matthias Boxberger, CEO of HanseWerk AG and Member of the Executive Board of Schleswig-Holstein Netz AG, Dr Martin Grundmann, Managing Director of ARGE NETZ, Dr. Oliver Weinmann, Managing Director of Vattenfall Europe Innovation GmbH and Michael Westhagemann, Chairman of Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster supporting association, Industrieverband Hamburg and CEO Siemens AF, Region Nord. Frank Burkert, partner of the business consultancy Ernst & Young, is responsible for managing the project.

The project initiative NEW 4.0 participates in the competition for the programme ‘Showcase Smart Energy – Wind’, announced by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The Federal Ministry will announce the winners in late summer / early autumn 2015.