On the occasion of a project meeting held end of March in Düsseldorf, Germany, the progRESsHEAT team took a tour to Herten, one of the case study cities of the project.
The day started with a presentation of the district heating system of the Rurh Metropolis and their development plans. In Germany’s largest conurbation (5 mio inhab.), the ambition is to create Europe’s largest district heating and cooling (DHC) network by connecting existing ones.
The area is now searching to successfully transition from a mining industry-based economy and to ensure sustainable energy future and economic development. New companies are settling there, amongst the historical buildings the municipality of Herten wishes to preserve.
In the afternoon, the project partners visited the cogeneration plant of the local swimming-pool, and took a walk in the neighbourhood, to reach the Gelsenkirchen former mining site where past and future meets.
In the middle of these huge structures made of stone and metal, a cogeneration plant has raised, exploiting the methane naturally present in the ground, directly connected to the DHC.
The afternoon ended with a journey through time as the team was offered the opportunity to visit former miners’ cloakrooms and bathrooms, two guides providing explanations on the working conditions at the time. In the Ruhr area, the last mining site closed down in 2008. In 2017, you can hardly imagine what it was to work in there... but we can surely take action for an even better future!