Rapid and efficient laying of power cabling, intelligent use of industrial waste heat, reduced performance losses and enhanced reactive power control in wind farms, a vivid TV report on the dismantling of a nuclear power plant – all impressive work around energy transition. The Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster (EEHH) yesterday evening acknowledged these efforts, bestowing the seventh German Renewables Award 2018 as part of a gala event held at the Intercity Hotel Dammtor. The winning contributions were selected in advance by a prestigious eight-member panel.
Jan Rispens, Managing Director of the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster said of the prize winners: “The companies and individuals receiving their awards here today are on the one hand hugely important to the development and ongoing expansion of wind energy, yet on the other demonstrate an increasing tendency towards approaching energy transition from a system-based perspective. The scope of efforts ranges from reactive power optimisation in wind farms and minimally invasive ground cable laying to the use of industrial waste heat for district heating supply. Last but not least, the panel recognised a scientist to have laid the foundations for wind energy utilisation in Germany with his pioneering ground work. We’re glad to see such wide-ranging work and high quality in the competitive environment.”
“Product Innovation of the Year” category
AGS-Verfahrenstechnik GmbH in cooperation with Stade municipal utilities demonstrated how cabling can be laid quickly and efficiently for transmission grids. AGS uses a procedure that combines water-filled ductwork with active cooling, dispensing with costly earth works. For its idea, the syndicate headed by AGS Verfahrenstechnik GmbH was distinguished with the German Renewables Award 2018 in the “Product Innovation of the Year” category.
“Being able to offer a solution in implementing the necessary expansion of the power grid associated with energy transition, merging tried-and-tested, technical processes and principles brings much satisfaction. Practical verification has been offered in Stade, expert reporting has been written. It now rests with those in positions of responsibility to ensure future innovative technologies are duly considered by no later than the plan determination phase of projects in order to advance the process beyond mere lip service and ultimately avoid situations of few winners and many losers when it comes to the consequences of grid expansion and energy transition,” states Werner Spiegel, AGS-Verfahrenstechnik, regarding the significance of the new approach.
A bi-directional transformer for rapid charging for electric vehicles brought Freqcon GmbH a nomination in this category. Naturspeicher GmbH was amongst further nominees with its storage system capable of absorbing energy from ambient air and solar radiation and transforming it into heating and cooling energy. A total of six companies competed in the “Product Innovation of the Year” category.
“Project of the Year” category
The winning project of Aurubis AG in the “Project of the Year” category was regarded by the German Renewables Awards panel “to have made a decisive contribution to thermal energy transition in the Hamburg region”. The Hamburg-based copper producer converted its copper manufacturer operations to begin using 20 MW of waste heat output to supply the eastern part of the HafenCity area from the end of 2018. The changes brought about allow for annual CO2 savings in excess of 20,000 tonnes.
“We’ve been working on the idea now for several years, and we’ve had to tackle numerous technical, economical and political challenges along the way. I also see the award as acknowledgement of the worthwhile nature of persevering for a good cause,” states Project Manager Christian Hein, Aurubis AG rejoicingly on winning the German Renewables Award.
The University of Wuppertal conceptualised the dynamic “Happy Hour II” electricity tariff based on the supply of renewable energies. The new Arkona offshore wind farm of E.ON Climate & Renewables impressed the panel, demonstrating excellence around: technology, environment and safety. Both projects were nominated for the German Renewables Award 2018 in the “Project of the Year” category. This category saw the panel choose between six applicants.
“Student Thesis of the Year (Wind Energy)” category
Striking an appropriate balance for reactive and active power in wind farms – one of the greatest challenges facing today’s wind farm and grid operators. The methodology developed by award recipient Laura Haffner in her Master’s thesis, for which she was awarded the German Renewables Award in the “Student Thesis of the Year (Wind Energy)” category, minimises performance losses within the wind farm and offers effective reactive power control for the power grid. The research associate at the Helmut Schmidt University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg (HSU Hamburg in German) wrote her programme as part of her Master’s thesis at the Technical University of Denmark. Wind turbine manufacturer Nordex Group has subsequently adapted it.
“I’m really happy that my Master’s thesis has been awarded the Student Prize of the German Renewables Award. My work involved optimising reactive power distribution within a wind farm. The award shows me just how important optimised control concepts are and spurs me on for future projects!,” remarks a delighted Laura Haffner, HSU Hamburg.
Simon Hoyer of Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) in his Master’s thesis focussed on enabling the rapid and cost-effective selection of wind energy turbines for specific terrain topographies. Finn Buchner, likewise of Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, developed a mobile measuring system for determining structural resonance frequencies of wind energy turbines. Both were amongst the nominees in the “Student Thesis of the Year (Wind Energy)” category.
“Life’s Work of the Year (Wind Energy)” category
His definitive work on “wind turbines” and talks would have left their mark upon an entire generation of engineers, affirmed the panel regarding Professor Robert Gasch, who taught at TU Berlin for 25 years and from 1986 was instrumental in establishing the Polytechnical Institute in Xian, China. In 2009, he received the “Friendship Award for Foreign Experts” from the People’s Republic of China for his contributions.
“Back in 1980 when I offered a course on ‘wind turbines’ at TU Berlin as an elective subject, little did I know the huge response this would evoke on the part of the student body. Across all faculties/specialist departments,” recalls Professor Robert Gasch.
New: Journalism Award
Chief panel member Klaus Liedtke, former chief editor of “Stern” and “National Geographic”, held Marco Heuer of NDR/Lower Saxony regional broadcasting centre to have explained in “clear, sober language suitable even for the layman the problem faced at the outset of energy transition – how to get away from nuclear power.” Ideal prerequisites for winning the first Journalism Award of the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster. His TV report “How does it work? Dismantling a nuclear power plant (German: 'Wie geht das? Ein Atomkraftwerk zurückbauen')” was aired by NDR in April 2018.
Prize winner Marco Heuer of NDR/Lower Saxony regional broadcasting centre shared the following concerning the historical origin of his award-winning report: “I found making a film about dismantling a nuclear power plant a huge challenge. I had respect for the project. Being directly in the midst of castor loading, that also meant intensively researching the topics of radiation and potentially hazardous situations beforehand. The same goes for the team. I’m grateful to operators Preußen Elektra that the film was made possible. They gave us access to all relevant areas without restricting us in our independent report.”
2nd and 3rd places went to article “Getting involved in energy transition (German: 'Energiewende zum Mitmachen')” appearing this year in “enorm weconomy” by Daniela Becker and article “Revolution in the energy market (German: 'Revolution auf dem Energiemarkt')” published this summer by Stefan Schultz on “Spiegel Online”. The “Journalism Award” category included nine hopefuls.
Around 190 companies from the renewable energies industry are involved in efforts to achieve energy transition in the Renewable Energy Hamburg industry network. These include manufacturers, project developers, financing bodies and research institutes from the Hamburg metropolitan region. Major projects involving the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster include: “Norddeutsche EnergieWende (NEW 4.0) (Northern German Energy Transition 4.0)”, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and the EU projects Green Power Electronics and Northern Connections.
EEHH GmbH (Renewable Energy Hamburg)
Astrid Dose, Project Management, Public Relations & Marketing
Phone: +49 (0)40/694573-12
Look back and videos on prize winners (in German):