The Rhenish Mining Area is historically characterised by the extraction, conversion to electricity and refinement of lignite. Due to the advantageous location to important transport routes and markets in Germany and Europe, many other industries, such as the metal, chemical and aluminium industries, have also settled there. With regard to regulatory goals – including the lignite phase-out in North Rhine-Westphalia by 2030 or the goals of the European Green Deal – the need for a transformation of the energy-intensive and resource-intensive industries towards a greenhouse gas-neutral and resource-efficient economy in the Rhenish mining area becomes clear.
On behalf of the Zukunftsagentur Rheinisches Revier, the Wuppertal Institute and Prognos AG are investigating the footprint of the Rhenish mining area and which innovative resource strategies the region should pursue, evaluate and monitor. The scientists of the Wuppertal Institute are in charge of the project and develop approaches for a regional strategy, while the Prognos AG project team develops a corresponding monitoring concept. Within the project, the researchers of the Wuppertal Institute analyse the status quo in the Rhenish Mining Area, interview experts and organise workshops.
From this, they will derive approaches for a "Regional Strategy for a Resource Transition". It is planned that this strategy will contain both thematic focal points and central steps for a regional resource transition. The thematic focal points are represented by central topics such as raw and basic material-related industry as well as technologies and innovations for the resource transition. The central steps are illustrated with the help of transformation paths, such as the development of an inspiring mission statement or the establishment of a material flow system for the Rhenish mining area.
The Prognos AG researchers are also developing a monitoring concept based on the fundamental work and coordinated with the regional strategy. Finally, the results will be summarised in a study, published and presented to regional actors.
The aim of the project is to enable the regional actors to drive forward the regional resource transition in a targeted and joint manner. The project study should provide impulses for an exemplary, climate-neutral and resource-efficient structural change in terms of both content and process.