WEP: Green district heating for an entire city

The energy service provider WEP Wärme-, Energie- und Prozesstechnik GmbH (WEP for short) from Hückelhoven (District of Heinsberg) is aware of its ecological responsibility and therefore relies on the development of the district heating network, on the use of LED lighting in offices and power plants, on the use of e-mobility within its own fleet and on motivating citizens to protect the climate.

WEP, as a subsidiary of Stadtwerke Dinslaken public utilities, currently distributes district heating to around 3,500 households, which is provided using biomass combustion. The energy supplier now wants to expand the district heating network significantly in order to enable the supply of carbon-neutral heating to about 40,000 inhabitants. In addition to this, the network is also being expanded to the neighbouring city of Wassenberg. The two existing coal boilers were converted to biomass operation, which saves about 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Furthermore, WEP operates another power plant fired with fresh wood, which, in comparison to the German electricity mix and the emission factor of heating oil in home heating systems, saves around 26,000 tonnes of CO2.

Climate protection objective:

a. by the end of 2018, half of all lighting points in operation will have been converted to LED technology.

b. by 2020, every second house in Hückelhoven will be supplied with climate-neutral district heating.

  • by 31/12/2016, the district heating network is to be expanded by 3 megawatts of capacity.
  • by 31/12/2017, the district heating network is to be expanded by a further 3 MW of capacity.
  • by 31/12/2018, the Hilfahrt biomass-fired CHP plant is to be put in operation.
  • In the years that follow, the capacity of the district heating network is to be expanded by a further 3 MW per year.

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Photo: WEP

Constantly Reducing Energy Consumption

The company is systematically reducing its own consumption. To this end, WEP also took a closer look at the lighting in its offices and power plant buildings and made the decision to switch to LED lighting. During the course of implementation, savings of around 40 megawatt-hours per year were proven. The replacement of conventional lighting is to be further pursued in 2016.

Actively Spreading Electric Mobility

WEP is pursuing further climate protection measures. For example, the company has expanded its fleet to include electric cars and maintains two e-charging stations. One of them is on the company premises and the second is at the Town Hall in Hückelhoven. All e-cars can recharge there and WEP customers are given special rates and discounts. The energy provider also supports a local garage that specialises in electric cars. Together with the garage, WEP uses cars as advertising media to promote the subject of electric mobility. The vehicles of both companies bear the slogan "climate-friendly driving" and a reference to the e-charging station. Together with a local bicycle dealer, WEP also invited interested citizens to test ride e-bikes within the context of a large-scale bicycle campaign. In 2016, WEP is hosting and supporting WAVE, the world's biggest road show for electric vehicles.

Photo: WEP

"Our company practices decentralised and renewable energy supply for our city. We already supply approximately one in every three houses with green district heating. Our goal is to make Hückelhoven carbon neutral on balance in regard to electricity and heating by 2020 through further efficiency measures and the expansion of the district heat network."

Christoph Langel, WEP Wärme,- Energie- und Prozesstechnik GmbH