RES DH for the Neckar-Alb region - Promising pilot projects selected
The target region Neckar-Alb consists of three municipal districts (Tübingen, Reutlingen and Zollernalbkreis) that are characterized by several bigger towns and many picturesque villages in the landscape of the Swabian Alb. The ENTRAIN partners in the region cooperate with the Climate and Energy Agencies of those districts to tap into their existing networks and ensure a close-knit contact to local stakeholders.
As part of the working package “Making the change”, pilot RES-DH projects in each target region are identified for a professional accompaniment. Towards the end of ENTRAIN, lessons learned from our pilots will be distributed among regional players to raise awareness for modern, climate friendly and renewable heating solutions.
During the last months, seven pilot projects for the Neckar-Alb have been selected. They cover different stages of project development and entail both rural and urban settings, which strongly influences the available RES DH sources. The Kastanienhof is a very special one: It combines a plant nursery, horse stables, poultry raising, farm shop, petting zoo, a café and housing for the employees - all rolled into one agricultural building ensemble! Unlike the other pilots, the DH planning is not driven by public authorities but a non-profit private company that offers inclusive employment opportunities over a broad spectrum of business areas. The nearby town could eventually be connected to a future DH system as well.
With the guidance of ENTRAINers, the operating company will look into concepts for not only a carbon-neutral, but carbon-negative energy supply of their building complex. This goal could be achieved through a combined use of solar thermal energy and biomass. Through a process called pyrolysis, regional wood and by-products of the agricultural production can be used for a simultaneous generation of heat and/or power as well as biochar. This biochar can be used as a soil conditioner (think fertilizer, but much smarter) that stores carbon over a long period of time.