JenErgieReal: Supplying cities holistically with energy

Stadtwerke Jena is launching a real-world laboratory for the energy transition with partners from science, the housing sector and the industry. It aims to link energy production, storage facilities and consumers in Jena intelligently as virtual power plant.

Together with partners from science, the housing sector and industry, the Stadtwerke Jena Group wants to demonstrate how cities can be sustainably supplied with electricity and heat in the future in a real-world laboratory for the energy transition. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection is funding the implementation of the JenErgieReal project in Jena with around 20.4 million euros over a period of five years. The aim is to develop solutions for a needs-based and cost-effective energy transition in cities, and to test them in practice.

In 2019, JenErgieReal was one of 20 winning projects nationwide in the „Ideenwettbewerb Reallabore der Energiewende“ (ideas competition for real-world laboratories of the energy transition) organised by the then Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. In total, more than 90 ideas were submitted. JenErgieReal was the only Thuringian entry to make it into the selection of projects eligible for funding.
JenErgieReal is intended to serve as a model for the sustainable energy-related reorganisation of urban spaces and thus also to become relevant beyond the Thuringian city. In particular, the overarching consideration of all parts of the urban energy system - from producer to consumer, from transport to industry and commerce to housing - could make Jena a pilot location for the transformation of energy supply in cities.

What is it all about?

With the JenErgieReal project, Stadtwerke Jena, together with our above mentioned partners from different sectors, want to find answers to the central questions of the energy transition:

  • How can cities be sustainably supplied with electricity and heat in the future?
  • How can the energy transition succeed in urban areas in a cost-effective and demand-oriented manner?
  • How can people be involved in this transformation process?

The project follows an interdisciplinary approach. An initial theoretical consideration is followed by a practical phase in which the findings are demonstrated and implemented on site in Jena.

Who is involved?

The JenErgieReal project is an interdisciplinary collaboration of suppliers, grid operators, municipalities, industry, housing sector, science, and social associations. The project partners involved are:

  • Stadtwerke Energie Jena-Pößneck
  • Stadtwerke Jena Netze
  • jenawohnen
  • City of Jena
  • Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau
  • Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena
  • AWO Regionalverband Mitte-West-Thüringen e.V.
  • Brunata Metrona

What exactly is the plan?

Until 2027, large-scale electrical storage systems as well as photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are to be built throughout the city of Jena. The aim is to involve different areas of the urban energy system as integrated energy.

For example, energy storage systems will be installed at charging stations or combined with combined heat and power plants to generate electricity and heat. Electric vehicles are also to be integrated as short-term energy storage systems.

Particular attention is paid to the use of thermal energy. For instance, the aim is to generate heat decentrally from various renewable sources. Further, thermal losses are to be reused to a greater extent.

To create a network of the various generators, storage facilities and consumers, a virtual power plant is created with a digital infrastructure. In this way, the load distribution of the grid with its different actors - ranging from generators to large-scale electrical storage and electromobility to the end consumer - can be controlled highly flexibly in real time, always adjusting to the current situation.

Bildmarke Logo JenErgieReal

Interdisciplinary and collaborative: Research in eight sub-projects 

From storage technology to urban development, from acceptance to legal framework: in eight interdisciplinary projects, the project partners of JenErgieReal are working together on specific solutions for the energy transition. 

Find out more here
Fördermittelübergabe für das Reallabor der Energiewende JenErgieReal

Video: project launch

With the handover of 20.4 million euros of subsidies by Christian Maaß from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, the energy transition real-laboratory officially started on 4 November 2022. In the JenaTV report, people involved in the project explain what exactly JenErgieReal is all about, and what Germany can learn from Jena.

Im Projekt JenErgieReal soll ein virtuelles Kraftwerk Erzeuger, Speicher und Verbraucher von Strom und Wärme digital verbinden und in Echtzeit steuerbar machen

A virtual power plant: this is what JenErgieReal is about

In our blog entry, you can read more about the project contents of our real-laboratory and about how our partner network imagines the virtual powerplant - the core of JenErgieReal. 

Go to Stadtwerke-blog
Symbolbild JenErgieReal

Real-laboratory of the energy transition: information on the project

Holistic approach, highly practical relevance: Many cities and companies are to benefit from the findings of the real-laboratory on energy transition in Jena. Initial information on what exactly is to be researched and tested at JenErgieReal can be found in the press material on the project launch.

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