The industrial landscape in NRW faces substantial challenges in the context of the German energy transition (Energiewende). In this transition, large parts of the industrial infrastructure need to be transformed. This is both about the overall energy consumption, as well as the emission of greenhouse gases. Further on, the general consumption of natural resources needs to be considered.
For such a transition, the supporting interplay between industry and public actors as well as regulation play crucial roles. This reaches from setting up an appropriate market frame to enable self-improving process via market forces, over public support via funding and pilot projects, up to tariffs and other regulatory means. In how far it is possible to influence and shape these processes depends to large extents upon the level up to which the frequently rather complex value chains are located in NRW. Together with the technical and economic options for such changes, the degree to which a value chain can be regarded as closed is therefore a crucial factor.
In this study, three exemplary value chains from different industry sectors are considered - iron and steel production, chemistry with a focus on fiber enforced polymers, and plant manufacturing for renewable energy generation with a focus on wind energy. These were selected in such a way that they yield strategic, economic and ecologic (in terms of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions) relevance for NRW. Further more, they connected in different ways to the outside, face international competition and possess different kinds of internal governance structures.
All three value chains are only insufficiently closed. Therefore, further regions and political levels need to be part of the transformational process. NRW can be understood as a key region, with the potential to offer crucial support - but the challenges can only be met in close cooperation with other German states as well as with the surrounding industrial regions in the neighboring European countries.
Georg Kobiela, Daniel Vallentin:
Wertschöpfungsketten in NRW im Kontext der Energiewende
Eine Metaanalyse bezüglich Stahl, polymeren Werkstoffen und dem Anlagenbau in der erneuerbaren Energiewirtschaft
Wuppertal Paper no. 192 (September 2016)