On March 7, 2013 the Stadtwerke Kaiserslautern extended an invitation to the 5th Lautrer Energy Forum. This year's topic was the urban development in the energy policy.
With the 5th Energy Forum, the Stadtwerke continues what has become a small tradition. Since the previous forums dealt more with individual aspects of the turn around in energy policy, the focus this year goes all out. The focus of the event was the question concerning the role the energy policy plays in urban development. The Stadtwerke invited top-class speakers from the worlds of politics, business and science.
Strategies of an intelligent urban development
The patron of the 5th Lautrer Energy Forum, Lord Mayor Dr. Klaus Weichel, welcomed the guests to the meeting center of the Fritz-Walter-Stadium. In his speech, he explained that the implementation of the turn around in energy policy will need an intelligent urban development. If mistakes are made today in the urban design, the effect will still be noticed 50 years from now. The city policies meet this challenge with a strategy. A dense development not only reduces land consumption, but the infrastructure expenditure is reduced as well. The inner urban development takes precedence over the outer development. Areas previously used by the military would have to be converted to residential and industrial areas. The district heating supply in the urban core should be developed as a priority, while natural gas should be used more in the outlying areas. A heating atlas presented by the Stadtwerke provides a great base for action. An energy-efficient development must also be integrated when drafting development plans. Decisive is the layout of the building in order to ensure efficient use of photovoltaic systems.
Acceptance is needed
Roland Warner, board member of the Stadtwerke Kaiserslautern, followed by outlining the topic. He emphasized that there are hardly any political decisions that are not affected by energy-policy issues. The Stadtwerke would have an important role to play in an energy-policy oriented urban development. The Stadtwerke would have to face considerable challenges. The expansion of renewable energies would not meet the same acceptance everywhere.
Proactive urban management
Prof. Dr. Peter Heck, Institute for Applied Material Flow Management of the University in Trier and Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, expanded on this thought. The turn around in energy policy is a call for participation. The citizens would have to be involved in the expansion of renewable energies. The establishment of cooperatives, following the example of Raiffeisen, could be a model. Zero emission is a very ambitious goal, but doable. That would however require a complete rethinking. When planning urban development, the question of how can I save resources would have to be in the forefront. The cities today would still not be thinking far enough into the future. They also would leave much of the economic potential unrealized which lies in the conversion of our energy landscape for regional value creation.
The security of supply challenge
Dr. Michael Kassner, Manager of the Central Region of Siemens AG Frankfurt, explained that the cities are challenged in a particular way. In the end, they are the ones who emit the 70 percent of greenhouse gases. Also, in 2050, according to the forecasts, 70 percent of the world's population would live in cities. Siemens is trying to find answers to the megatrends, such as demographic change, urbanization, climate change, and global economic growth. In this regard, the security of supply is the actual challenge of the turn around in energy policy. It is important to ensure stability of the processes and the networks. Today, we would be flooded with individual actions. What is necessary however is an integrated management that comprises all aspects of the turn around in energy policy. Even Markus Vollmer, member of the board of the Stadtwerke Kaiserslautern, reminded us to think beyond the city limits in all activities to implement the turn around in energy policy, and to concentrate more on the entire region.
Oliver Rechenbach, Energy Agency Rhineland-Palatinate, informed on the establishment launched on July 1, 2012. The Energy Agency considers itself as an innovator that motives the citizens to deal with the topic. After a discussion round the guests were given the opportunity to network.