Berlin has set its climate target high. How can we achieve this goal and what challenges are we going to face?
— Thomas Schäfer: Climate-neutral city 2050, that still sounds far away. But it is a topic that we are already addressing today. It is doable. For Berlin as a metropolis, this means an energy transition of up 20 percent for electricity and 80 percent for heating. The challenge will be to integrate renewable energies in the city.
— Boris Schucht: Climate change is, of course, not a question that a city like Berlin can solve alone. It is a global challenge to which every nation, every region and every city has to contribute. Thomas Schäfer is absolutely right. A very important aspect in order to successfully combat climate change is the integration of renewable energies into the entire power system. To do so, we have to create a different infrastructure to the one we have today. One that can transport electricity from the renewable energy regions to the consumer centres. But we also realise that we can achieve the climate targets relatively well in the energy sector. In other sectors, such as mobility and heat for example, this is much more difficult. Big cities are facing immense challenges related to the following question: What contributions can be achieved in these two sectors in big cities? Specifically: How much CO2 savings can be realised on the mobility side and how can we bring renewable energies into the heat supply? All this is happening under the keyword “sector coupling”.
When sector coupling is spoken of, Power-to-X is always mentioned. Are there opportunities for these technologies in Berlin?
— Boris Schucht: In the next few years, we will already have more days and hours in the north of Germany during which more renewable energies than we can use or transport will be available to us. In the meantime, we follow the principle of “utilise instead of switching off”. For example, this means that we can also produce heat from this renewable power. Berlin, with its large heat market, is a very interesting place for driving the development of power-to-heat solutions. We believe that this will be one of the most important instruments in the future for integrating more renewable energies into the district heating network and thus the urban centres.