MUNICH — (MunichNOW News) — Munich won the Green Energy category at the inaugural C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards in 2013. Mayor Monatzeder highlighted Munich’s green energy initiatives as well as the city’s comprehensive policy to mitigate climate change.
Karen Camper, World Bank presents Hep Monatzeder, Mayor of Munich (from right to left)
with the City Climate Leadership Award in the category “Green Energy”.
In 2009 the City of Munich established a very important objective: by 2025 the government aims to supply the entire city with 100 percent renewable electrical energy. At least 7.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) per year of green electricity should be produced by 2025. Munich’s focus is to accomplish this in collaboration with the city-owned utility company Stadtwerke München (SWM). This will make Munich the first megacity worldwide to achieve such an ambitious target.
With a budget of roughly 9 billion euros, SWM launched several new clean energy projects in 2014, including a hydropower plant on the river Isar, which produces enough electricity to supply 4,000 Munich homes a year. All projects that were completed in 2014 allowed SWM to produce 2.8 billion kWh of green electricity utilizing wind, water, geothermal, solar and biomass power. That already equated to 37 percent of Munich’s power consumption.
Decentralized networks of small-scale energy plants and large industrial consumers were developed by SWM to inaugurate a virtual power plant. The plant will be pooled and operated like a single system. The plant runs on renewable energy, which allows SWM to plan and precisely forecast loads within the system. The facilities have a combined output of 80 MW.
Munich aims for a stronger independence, not for autonomy. SWM wants to be a part of the European-wide change of the energy landscape. The reason for this is that Munich’s energy demand cannot be supplied from its own territory, which makes them dependent on imports.
Here are some solutions and goals:
- Regulation established a motive for the extension of the electricity grid. Simultaneity factors used in a European-built grid could transport electricity from high generation to high demand areas.
- Market integration of renewable energy sources must be improved. The goal is to come to a European Internal Market for Renewable Energy. The European dimension is key in order to achieve renewable energy production under economic and efficient conditions.
- The potentials for pumped storage power stations must be unlocked and developed. Research and development for new storage technologies has to be intensified.
If these objectives are completed, a high number of renewable energy sources will be constructed.
Environmental protection and sustainable development have a long tradition as high priority issues in Munich. The Münchner Stadtentwässerung is devoted to environmental protection and public health. The city’s wastewater is collected in a combined sewer system and brought to the two wastewater treatment plants. There it is cleaned before being harmlessly discharged into the Isar River — which now has bathing-water quality. Furthermore, Munich was the first German community to establish a municipal department for environmental protection.
Moreover, the outstanding quality of drinking water enhances quality of life in cosmopolitan Munich. To meet the requirements of 1.4 million people in an environmentally responsible way, the city and SWM have developed three supply catchment areas over the years — the Mangfalltal valley, the Schotterebene and the Loisachtal region — which complement one another perfectly and provide Munich with some of the best drinking water in Europe from the alpine uplands.
Finally, Munich is promoting principles of fair trade in its procurement policy. Munich was the first city in Germany to ban products that involve child labour. Furthermore, Munich and SWM are supporting organic farming at home and abroad.
“Munich Aims for 100% Green Energy by 2025.” The C40 Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards. C40 & Siemens, 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 June 2015.
Dr. Florian Bieberbach, Cfo Stadtwerke Munich Gmbh. “100 % by 2025 – Municipal Utility Goes Renewable.” 100 % by 2025 – Municipal (2011): 1-9. EREC 2011Europe’s Renewable Energy Policy Conference. Web.