Stadtwerke (public utilities) are typical energy suppliers and grid operators in the German Ruhr region (which is located between the rivers Emscher and Lippe in North Rhine-Westphalia). They have a long tradition as inherent part of the actor constellations in the energy sector. Already today, the public utilities of the Ruhr region are characterised by seizing the opportunities offered by the energy transition (the so-called German Energiewende). Their technical and social structure largely corresponds to the processes associated with the energy transition towards a more decentralised generation and a democratisation of the energy supply. Most of the public utilities in the Ruhr region are active in several stages of the energy value chain. In electricity generation, they have a focus on cogeneration and renewable energies. In addition, they are frequently supporters and partners or even co-initiators of civic involvement for the expansion of renewable energies. As a distribution grid operator for electricity, gas and heat, they are often responsible for the integration and distribution of renewable energies. The energy transition is largely carried out in the local distribution grids. As a result of this, the coordination und the functions of public utilities in the Ruhr region become increasingly complex and entirely new tasks start to evolve.
Kurt Berlo, Oliver Wagner, Isabel Drissen:
Strategische Optionen der Ruhrgebiets-Stadtwerke im Rahmen der Energiewende
Beurteilung der aktuellen Situation : Ergebnisse des Leitprojekts "Stadtwerke als strategischer Akteur der Energiewende" im Gesamtprojekt "Energiewende Ruhr"
(Wuppertal Report no. 10)