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ruhrvalley tackles challenges of the climate crisis


At the convention@ruhrvalley, stakeholders from science, business and society met in the ruhrvalley to discuss the network's current focus areas: smart city, hydrogen and electromobility. In parallel at three locations in ruhrvalley - in Dortmund, Bochum and Gelsenkirchen - the participants discussed one of the topics in depth and learned more about the current ruhrvalley projects. 

In his keynote speech, Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick, Scientific Director of the Wuppertal Institute, made clear how relevant these topics are in view of the global challenge of climate change. There has long been no doubt that the increasing temperature rise of the global climate is man-made. "It is up to us to react quickly now to keep climate change in check," Fischedick appealed to the participants.

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick.

With the current Climate Protection Act, Germany has set itself the goal of achieving greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. This means that only as many greenhouse gases will be emitted as can be removed through carbon sequestration. Along the way, there is no single silver bullet. Instead, all the tools already available must be used to successfully reduce CO2 emissions. "Looking into the distance, knowing what you want to achieve and tackling it together: That's what distinguishes the Ruhr region," Fischedick said of the strength of the Metropole Ruhr.

The more than 100 partners from science, business and society in ruhrvalley are making use of this strength. Together, they are working on technical solutions that facilitate sustainable development not only in the Ruhr region, but in metropolises around the world. The participants of the third convention@ruhrvalley were able to see for themselves what these solutions are. The insight into the current ruhrvalley projects provided a suitable starting point for jointly thinking the topics of hydrogen, electromobility and smart city further into the future.

Timon Sachweh

Solutions for the networked city

One thing was certain for the participants of the convention@ruhrvalley at the User Innovation Center (UIC) of the Institute for the Digitization of Work and Living Environments (IDiAL) at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts: The smart city of the future offers enough space that can be used in a variety of ways, as well as sufficient green spaces, reduces traffic as much as possible and saves as much energy as possible. All in all, it thus impresses with a high quality of life. In their further exchange on the key topic of Smart City, they focused primarily on two aspects: the handling of data and sustainability. What data is available and how can we best use it in compliance with data protection laws? Technology can be an enabler of sustainability if, for example, existing infrastructures can be used even more efficiently by taking data into account or energy can be saved as a result.

Why actually hydrogen?

"Why actually hydrogen?" That was the question asked by the participants at the Gelsenkirchen site. Everyone agreed that hydrogen can make a decisive contribution to the energy transition. They used the event to exchange views on the significance, challenges and contribution of H2 system solutions to the energy transition. One focus was on the question of what role hydrogen can and must play in a climate-neutral economy. In doing so, the participants illuminated various aspects: How can decentralized, small-scale hydrogen production and use contribute to this goal? Or how can we make the production of hydrogen more efficient in order to better exploit its advantages?

Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Finke

Shaping the energy transition in transport

In Bochum, at the Institute for Electromobility of the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, the day revolved around the topic of electromobility. Under the motto "Shaping the energy transition in transport", there was lively discussion about ways to reduce CO2 emissions in transport. The focus was on the question of which and how intelligent mobility concepts for urban areas can contribute to this. What storage and system solutions will we need in the goods and commercial vehicle sector in the future? And what does the smallest possible vehicle for logistics in the inner cities of the Ruhr metropolitan region look like? In addition to such system solutions, however, the individual was not forgotten. Some of the participants addressed the question of how employers can meaningfully support their employees in making their mobility environmentally friendly.

Looking to the future together

Many questions, many ideas and many new contacts to tackle them together. At the end of the convention@ruhrvalley 2021, everyone met at the Kulturbrauerei in Herne to review the day over a joint barbecue. "For the ruhrvalley network, this event is a good opportunity to look into the future together and to deal with the transformation of our Ruhr region. Especially in view of the ongoing structural change and the new climate protection law, it is more important than ever to develop new projects and approaches to solutions for the entire region," Dr. Frank Dudda, Lord Mayor of the city of Herne, emphasized in his outlook. And he was to be proved right: With many lively discussions, new ideas and the will to move things forward together, the participants made the convention@ruhrvalley 2021 an exciting event with many points of contact to the future.

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