Renewable Energy – Solutions for application in the communal energy infrastructure

This brochure contains a selection of successful renewable energy solutions suitable for a range of applications for local and national municipalities and economies. The main energy end-use sectors and the current state of the energy transition are briefly explained to provide readers with an understanding of the transformation of the greater energy system. The renewable energy technology options are explained, including their relevance and applications for municipalities. Finally, a selection of exemplary projects that have been successfully implemented in Europe, the Russian Federation and Central Asia, are included to demonstrate real applications and use-cases for renewable solutions. Renewable energies are cheap, clean and versatile.

This brochure contains a selection of successful renewable energy solutions suitable for a range of applications for local and national municipalities and economies. The main energy end-use sectors and the current state of the energy transition are briefly explained to provide readers with an understanding of the transformation of the greater energy system. The renewable energy technology options are explained, including their relevance and applications for municipalities. Finally, a selection of exemplary projects that have been successfully implemented in Europe, the Russian Federation and Central Asia, are included to demonstrate real applications and use-cases for renewable solutions. Renewable energies are cheap, clean and versatile.


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Renewable Energy

Solutions for application in the communal energy infrastructure


Legal notice

This work is published in support of the

German-Russian Energy Dialogue.


Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena)

German Energy Agency

Chausseestrasse 128 a

10115 Berlin, Germany

Tel: +49 (0)30 66 777 - 0

Fax: +49 (0)30 66 777 - 699

E-mail: info@dena.de

Internet: www.dena.de


Nikias Wagner, dena

Project Director, International Cooperation



German Lewizki, Sunbeam Communications

Eva Augsten, Sunbeam Communications

Ina Röpcke, Sunbeam Communications

Tibor Fischer, dena

Laurence Green, dena

Design and Implementation

Sunbeam Communications, Berlin


Please cite as

German Energy Agency (dena, 2021): Renewable Energy,

Solutions for application in the communal energy


Version as of

July 2021

All rights reserved. Any use is subject to consent by


This document is intended for informational purposes

only. All content has been provided with the greatest

possible care and is provided in good faith. dena provides

no guarantee regarding the topicality, accuracy

and completeness of the information provided. dena

accepts no liability for damages of a tangible or intangible

nature caused directly or indirectly by the use

of or failure to use the information provided, unless

dena can be proven to have acted with intent or gross


List of Figures

10: shutterstock/Nikolai Link

12: shutterstock/Polarpx

14: shutterstock/DedMityay

16: shutterstock/IndustryAndTravel

18: shutterstock/industryviews

19: shutterstock/medicalstocks

20: shutterstock/Mike Fouque

22: shutterstock/Wolfgang Jargstorff

11, 13, 17, 21, 23: Sunbeam Communications

26, 29, 31: German Energy Agency (dena),

Renewable Energy Solutions Programme/

Немецкое Энергетическое Агентство dena


28: Solarimo GmbH

30: Hevel Group/ГК Хевел

32: FASA AG, The Case Digital

33: Ingenieurbüro für Energieeffizienz, Wolfgang Hilz

34: RusHydro/РУСГИДРО

35: Kraftwerk Himmelpforte - Gebr. Hennecke,

EnergieAgentur NRW

36, 41, 42: Department for Energy Efficiency of the

State Committee for Standardization of the Republic

of Belarus/Департамент по энергоэффективности,

Государственного Комитета по стандартизации

Республики Беларусь

37: Ecoklimat LLC/ООО Экоклимт

38: Leningrad Oblast Energy Saving and Energy

Efficiency Centre/ГКУ ЛО «Центр энергосбережения

и повышения энергоэффективности

Ленинградской области»

39: Fortum Corporation

40: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

43: Bioenergiepark Forst

44: Förderverein des Neue Energien Forum Feldheim e.V.

45: Sedum Architects




Executive Summary 4

Think globally, benefit locally 5

The Energy Transition 6

Application options 8

Photovoltaics electricity from sunlight 10

Solar thermal energy heat from the sun 12

Hydropower electricity from the river 14

Near-surface geothermal energy energy from the ground 16

Wind power high-tech with tradition 18

Biomass stored solar energy 20

Biogas stored solar energy to gas 22

Project overview 24

Mongolia: Hybrid plant supplies electricity for rural training center 26

Belarus: Solar power plant secures power supply 27

Germany: Cheap solar power for tenants 28

Kyrgyzstan: Solar power for a children’s home 29

Tuva: Solar diesel hybrid system for remote villages 30

Uzbekistan: Tashkent University uses solar power 31

Germany: Plenty of solar heat for apartment buildings 32

Germany: Solar heat network of old and new buildings 33

Kabardino-Balkaria: Small hydropower plant with secure returns 34

Germany: Modernisation of a small hydropower plant 35

Belarus: Heat from the earth, electricity from the sun 36

Russia: Secondary school heats its buildings with geothermal heatpumps 37

Russia: School cuts heating costs to a quarter with geothermal energy 38

Russia: Wind farm strengthens research and creates jobs 39

Poland: Wind power replaces lignite 40

Belarus: Electricity and district heating from woodchip 41

Belarus: Wood-fired heating plant reduces district heating costs 42

Germany: Electricity, gas and heat from chicken manure and energy crops 43

Germany: “Bioenergy village” Feldheim supplies itself with wind, sun and biogas 44

Georgia: Small hydropower helps to support tourism 45

Further contact information 46


Executive Summary

This brochure contains a selection of successful renewable energy solutions suitable for a range of applications

for local and national municipalities and economies. The main energy end-use sectors and the current

state of the energy transition are briefly explained to provide readers with an understanding of the transformation

of the greater energy system. The renewable energy technology options are explained, including

their relevance and applications for municipalities. Finally, a selection of exemplary projects that have been

successfully implemented in Europe, the Russian Federation and Central Asia, are included to demonstrate

real applications and use-cases for renewable solutions. Renewable energies are cheap, clean and versatile.

• Globally, the generation capacity of renewable

energies has been growing faster than the capacity

associated with fossil generators for several years.

• Solar energy is suitable for the completely emissionfree

generation of electricity and heat. It can also be

generated on house roofs in cities.

• The costs are steadily decreasing: Wind and solar

power are already cheaper than fossil energy sources

in many places.

• Communities that use renewable energy benefit from

cleaner air and less noise.

Renewable energy sources are local energy sources.

They increase the level of added value locally.

They reduce fuel imports and create jobs.

• Industrial companies often rely on renewable

energies to hedge against rising electricity prices.

• Depending on demand, electricity, heat or fuels can

be generated from renewable sources.

• Each region has individual energy resources that

need to be harnessed: Solar, wind, bioenergy,

hydropower or geothermal energy. In remote locations

without a grid connection, wind and solar

power in combination with batteries are inexpensive

alternatives to diesel generators.

• Wind farms can supply very large amounts of


• Wood and other solid biomass are suitable for heating

and for generating electricity in power plants.

Wood chips and pellets burn very cleanly in modern


• Biogas can be produced from energy crops (e.g. maize),

but also from waste. It consists mainly of methane

and is used in a similar way to natural gas.

• Hydropower plants come in all sizes.

They generate electricity around the clock.

• Geothermal energy (geothermal heat) is mostly used

together with heat pumps for heating.

There is also potential for geothermal power plants

in some areas.

• Depending on the climate, buildings have a high

energy demand for heating and cooling. Modern

insulation in combination with renewable energies

such as solar heat or geothermal energy help to

reduce costs.



Think globally, benefit locally

Wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, biogas

and biofuels renewable energies are on the rise

around the world. Just 20 years ago, they were a niche

product, but today their expansion rates exceed those

of fossil energy sources. This is partly due to the

ever more visible and severe consequences of climate

change. Increasingly frequent weather extremes such

as droughts and floods have pushed the energy transition

up the political agenda. In addition to advances

in technology and a reduction of costs, the success of

renewable energy sources is also due to the fact that

they offer great benefits at the local level.

The use of renewable energy sources such as wind

and solar energy not only produces no CO 2 , but also

no harmful emissions such as fine dust and nitrogen

oxides. Municipalities can immediately benefit from

better air quality when power generation, heating and

mobility are switched to clean energy sources.

In addition, renewables also offer new opportunities

for the regional economy. Every region is characterised

by its own specific energy potential. In one area, there

may be high solar radiation, while in another there is

abundant wind energy, and in other places there are

high resources of biomass and other residual materials.

Using this potential is economically attractive for municipalities

in several respects. By supplying municipal

or community facilities with renewable energy solutions,

the municipality and the institutions themselves

can first benefit from favourable energy costs. A children’s

home in Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan), for

example, previously spent a large part of its budget on

electricity. The new photovoltaic system saves energy

costs and leaves more budget for the primary activities

of the home.

The construction of renewable energy plants also creates

jobs in local trade enterprises and planning offices.

Many technologies, including primary and secondary

components, can also be manufactured locally in whole

(or at least in part). Regions with particularly favourable

conditions can, in turn, become energy exporters,

for example, with wind power or biofuels, and thus

generate additional income. Renewable energy projects

also allow relevant expertise to be nurtured and developed

at the local level. The solar plant located on the

grounds of the State Technical University “Abu Rayhan

Beruni” in Tashkent (the Capital of Uzbekistan) not

only provides renewable and reliable energy, but also

serves to demonstrate and educate students and other

interested parties on renewable energy technologies.

The decentralised nature of renewable energy is particularly

valuable in remote regions that otherwise rely on

fuel or electricity supply over long distances. At the vocational

training centre of the Mongolian University of

Life Sciences (MULS) in Nart Töv, about 140 kilometres

north of the capital Ulaanbaatar, solar and wind energy,

in combination with a battery storage system, have

replaced the former diesel generator. Instead of having

to pay for (and transport) large quantities of diesel, the

vocational training centre has now created a reliable

and inexpensive energy supply for itself.

The demands on energy supply are wide-ranging, as

are the possibilities of renewable energies. With this in

mind, we hope you discover some interesting insights

into the areas of application and the vast opportunities

that renewable energy sources and technologies offer.

When citizens and businesses utilize and rely on local

renewable energy sources it also benefits the community.

By spending less money on mostly imported

fossil fuels, more stays in the region, thereby helping to

boost the local economy.


The Energy Transition

Since industrialisation, the consumption of fossil fuels and raw materials has grown steadily. These still cover

the majority of global energy demand. However, the share of renewable energy and energy efficiency in global

investments in the energy sector is steadily increasing and has remained more stable than investments in

conventional energy, even during the Corona crisis. The transition from conventional energy sources to renewable

and sustainable forms of energy is occurring across all sectors, on a global scale.


In 2018, the EU member states obtained around 32 per

cent of their electricity from renewable sources. Climate

protection targets and government funding are only one

reason for this. The other is tangible economic benefits.

The cost of wind and solar energy has fallen so rapidly

over the last twenty years that in many cases, they

are cheaper than fossil energy forms. At the turn of

the millennium, the generation of one kilowatt hour of

solar electricity in Germany cost around 50 cents; today

it is about a tenth of that.

An increasing number of companies are concluding direct

electricity supply contracts with solar system operators

without government subsidies. Wind power generation

is also growing immensely. In 1997, global wind power

capacity was 7.5 gigawatts; in 2018, it was 564 gigawatts.

Onshore wind farms, in particular, are among the cheapest

forms of electricity generation today. Offshore wind

(wind farms at sea) is somewhat more expensive because

of the special conditions and requirements, but delivers

energy with particular consistency.

The fluctuating renewable energy sources (wind and

solar) are supplemented by controllable forms of renewable

energy such as bioenergy and hydropower,

and by modern energy storage systems. Today, it is

mainly batteries, but in the future it will increasingly

be renewable energy carriers such as hydrogen.

Another positive effect of the Energy Transition is the

high level of regional added value. Instead of simply importing

fossil raw materials, investments flow into local

economies. In Germany alone, several hundred thousand

jobs have been created in the green power sector.


Much remains to be done in the building sector, which

accounts for about 40% of the EU’s energy demand.

Depending on the climate zone, this includes, above all,

a considerable amount of energy for heating or cooling.

In 2018, the EU decided (in theenergy performance

of buildings directive”) that all member states must

define a standard for new buildings from 2020 that sets

the energy requirement at almost zero. In technical

terms, it has already been possible for years for buildings

to generate more energy than they consume. The

“Solar Settlement at Schlierberg” in Freiburg (Germany),

the residential tower “Elithis Danube” in Strasbourg

(France), the supermarket of the Migros chain

in Zuzwil (Switzerland) and Solar-5 in Vladivostok are

just a few of many examples. Member states must also

present a plan for the reno vation of existing buildings,

as demanded by the EU.

In order for the energy transition in the building sector

to succeed, energy demand must be minimised through

measures such as efficiency standards, highly effective

insulation, and others. At the same time, the demand

must be met with renewable sources where possible.

This can be done, for example, with a heat pump

powered by electricity from a green electricity provider,

or by generating heat or electricity with a solar system

directly on the building. With good planning and

a long-term time horizon, highly efficient houses save

their occupants a lot of money.




In the transport sector, greenhouse gas emissions

in Europe have not fallen since 1990, but have risen

slightly. People and goods travel ever further distances.

Cars and trucks cause by far the most emissions. The

mobility revolution begins in the cities and goes hand

in hand with a new urban lifestyle. In Copenhagen,

people use bicycles for 35 per cent of all journeys, in

Amsterdam 30 per cent and, in the small Dutch town of

Houten, the number is even 44 per cent. On the other

hand, good public transport is essential for longer distances

and for people with limited mobility.

The retail trade also benefits from the mobility revolution,

because fewer cars mean more space for parks,

promenades, beautiful squares and cafés and these

also attract customers. In rural areas, where many people

still rely on cars today, clean drive motors are the

key, especially electro mobility for passenger cars. In

2019, more than 2.1 million electric vehicles (EV) were

sold worldwide and the trend is rising. Thanks to developments

in battery technology, the ranges of EVs for

personal mobility today has increased to 500 kilometres

and the purchase costs are only slightly higher than

those of combustion engines. If the EV is “fueled” with

inexpensive, self-generated solar power, the economic

and environmental benefits are even greater.


Industry also needs to become cleaner. Since 1990, European

industry has successfully reduced its greenhouse

gas emissions by 35 per cent. However, most of this

was achieved before 2010. In the last decade efficiency

has continually increased and many processes have

been optimised to such an extent that fundamental

changes in procedures are necessary for further reductions

in emissions.

One step can be the use of electricity and heat from

renewable energies, which can now also be purchased

from specialised companies in direct contracts (power

purchase agreements or heat supply contracting). In

some processes, such as the production of steel, CO 2 is

also produced directly in the production process.

One way out of this could be the use of green hydrogen.

Many companies are showing great interest in climatefriendly

production processes. The changeover is technically

feasible, but it must be taken into account today

when investing in new machinery and equipment in

order to prevent lock-in effects. For this, industry needs

both clear targets and support from policymakers.

Policy plays a vital role in shaping the future, sustainable

energy system. In the EU certain Energy-intensive

industries are part of the European Union Emissions

Trading System (EU ETS). Companies within these industries

may only produce a limited amount of emissions.

If they produce more, additional allowances must

be acquired. For these companies, energy efficiency,

therefore, pays off twice in terms of energy costs and

in the savings or trading of allowances.

8 |

Application options

Renewable energy sources are not only clean and cost-effective, but also versatile. This means that every

municipality with its own individual needs can find a suitable solution from heating a school to providing a

reliable power supply for industrial areas. The below graphic and following technology descriptions help to

identify the right solution. Exemplary projects are then presented, starting on page 24.

Applications Utility scale Industry/Commercial Private household Off-grid

Wind energy



Small wind turbines


Small hydropower

Geothermal energy


Solar energy


Solar thermal



Solid biomass

Applicable for Heating/cooling

Applicable for Heating/cooling and electricity

Source: dena study: Status and perspectives for renewable energy development in the UNECE region




Photovoltaics electricity from sunlight

Photovoltaic systems generate electrical energy from solar radiation cost-effectively, quietly and without

emissions. In areas with an existing power grid, they reduce energy costs and can provide support for the network;

in regions with an unstable (or even no) power grid, they provide a secure and efficient energy supply

that can also be combined with storage systems for even greater coverage.

Over the past 20 years, solar power generation has

developed into a marketable and economical technology.

In many countries around the globe, the generation costs

for solar power are now lower than those for conventional

electricity. Worldwide, the generation costs for

solar electricity from large solar power plants have fallen

to an average of 50 US dollars per megawatt hour. Ten

years ago, those numbers were well above 300 dollars.

This incredible drop in price follows the expansion of

international production capacities, which was triggered

by an explosion in demand for photovoltaic (PV)


Today even self-generated electricity from smaller solar

systems is often cheaper than electricity purchased from

the electricity network, or electricity generated using

diesel generators. This applies to residential properties

and municipal buildings alike: solar PV systems can be

installed on schools, hospital buildings, recreational

facilities and other public and private buildings to cover

electricity demand in a climate-neutral way.

A typical household in Germany can cover roughly 20 to

30 per cent of its electricity needs with solar power by

using a solar PV system. With a storage system, this can

increase to around 80 per cent. Households in countries

and areas with greater solar resources can cover all of

their electriciy needs with PV systems together with

battery storage. Many battery storage systems also offer

an emergency power supply. If there is a power outage,

the storage system steps in. This is especially important

in applications where a constant power supply is

essential, such as in hospitals and data centres.

In regions without a stable grid connection, diesel

gene rators are often used to supply power. The required

fuel is often transported over longer distances. With a

solar PV system, diesel and transport costs can be greatly

reduced. A solar-diesel hybrid system can ensure supply

of electrical energy in times of low solar energy generation

or during night. With the help of clever design, a

combination of a solar system and battery storage can

ensure power supply even without a diesel generator,

especially in areas with high solar irradiation.



A place for the solar modules can be found in most cases.

These can be installed on roofs, facades and even on

the ground. Once commissioned, the systems can run

almost maintenance-free for decades.

Possible applications and benefits for


Solar PV systems can be installed on most buildings

and in open spaces. They supply solar power for a wide

variety of applications, for example:

• Residential houses of any size

• Municipal, commercial and industrial buildings

• Off-grid consumers and loads, such as remote

facilities or radio masts and equipment

• Charging stations for electric vehicles

• The replacement of diesel generators or for use in

diesel hybrid systems

There, they reduce energy costs and CO 2 emissions and,

especially in connection with energy storage systems,

provide reliable energy even when the public power

grid is unstable. In off-grid locations, “micro grids”

with solar PV plants with or without battery storage

combined with backup diesel generators, can ensure an

efficient and stable energy supply.




Functional principle and design

The primary components of a PV system are the solar

modules which form the solar array. In today’s most

widespread module technology, each solar module

consists of numerous solar cells that utilise silicon as

a semiconductor. These cells are interconnected within

the modules.

Several modules are combined to form a PV system

and mounted on the roof or ground using a mounting

system. There, they convert solar radiation into direct

current. Inverters are used to convert this into alternating

current, which is fed into the public or private

electricity grid, or it is used directly on site.

To ensure a high solar yield, the PV modules should

be installed facing south if possible. When being used

for individual energy needs only however, east- and

west-facing systems are also well-suited. The modules

should be mounted at an angle, for example, 30 degrees.

It is also important that the system is not shaded,

or only shaded for a brief period. Depending on how

the modules are connected, a shaded area can significantly

reduce the solar yield of the entire system.

Since becoming more cost-effective than electricity

from an energy supplier in some countries, the combination

of solar electricity and a battery storage system

is gaining in popularity. In this case, either the inverter

or an external energy management system regulates

the energy flows. The solar electricity is typically first

consumed directly in the building. Unused electricity

is temporarily stored in the battery for later use or fed

into the public grid depending on the country, market

and relevant regulations.

4 5 6

Structure of a photovoltaic system in a building

1) Solar modules 2) Generator junction box 3) Load

4) Grid connection 5) Meter 6) Grid feed-in unit

In addition to such grid-connected PV systems, offgrid

systems or so-called “micro grids” (off-grid

solutions), require a battery for optimal results. There

are now technically mature battery systems available

for all applications: from small home storage units for

a residential building, to large-scale commercial and

industrial storage units with several megawatt hours of

storage capacity.


Solar thermal energy heat from the sun

Solar thermal systems generate heat from solar radiation for water heating and room heating in buildings,

for industrial processes and heat networks. The most common use worldwide is for domestic hot water and

solar thermal systems that support central heating. With their glazed solar collectors, the systems are robust,

low-maintenance and remain functional for decades. Free solar energy lowers energy costs and reduces

climate-damaging emissions in heat supply.

Domestic solar thermal hot water systems provide heat

for shower- and drinking water, and are most commonly

used in single-family homes. However, they are,

in principle, suitable wherever there is a high demand

for hot water. That is why hotels and holiday resorts

are also ideal applications for solar thermal systems, as

are retirement homes, hospitals and sports halls. Solar

thermal systems that support heating provide energy

for hot water as well as room heating.

Solar thermal systems can also be integrated into heating

networks, for example, in new development areas,

where they supply residential buildings and municipal

properties centrally with heat. Generally, installation

on roofs is common, but an elevated installation in

open spaces or other structures are also possible.

These applications involve low-temperature systems

for a water temperature of up to approx. 60 degrees.

For industrial and commercial enterprises, there are

process heating systems for high temperatures of approximately

100 degrees Celsius. There is also a need

among companies such as laundries, car washes, painters

and breweries. In agriculture, drying can be done

with the help of solar heat.





Design of a solar

thermal system

in a building

2 3 4

1) Solar collector

2) Solar storage tank

3) Boiler

4) Solar controller

with expansion


5) Consumer

Possible applications and benefits for municipalities:

Solar thermal systems convert solar radiation directly

into heat, thus saving costs and reducing CO 2 emissions.

They can be used for:

• Single and multi-family houses,

apartment buildings

• Municipal buildings such as kindergartens,

retirement and residential homes

• Tourist buildings such as guesthouses and hotels

• Industrial and commercial processes

• Local and district heating networks

Functional principle and design

At the heart of a solar thermal system are solar collectors

containing absorbers made of copper or aluminium.

These absorbers take in energy-rich short-wave

solar radiation and convert it into usable heat. The heat

is then transferred to a heat transfer medium. This is

usually a frost-proof solar fluid that circulates within

the system. A circulation pump transports the heat

from the collectors through the solar pipes and to the

heat storage tank. Due to the fact that the solar fluid

is in a separate circuit, a heat exchanger transfers the

heat to the domestic or heating water. From the storage

tank, the heat then reaches the hot water distribution

or the heating system.

Robustly built flat-plate collectors are available, which

have the largest market share, as well as more powerful

evacuated tube collectors. Air collectors, a niche product,

can be used for additional ventilation.

In domestic hot water systems, a drinking water storage

tank stores hot water for bathing and washing. In

heating-support systems, either a buffer storage tank

is used that only stores the heating water, or a combination

storage tank where a drinking water storage

tank is integrated into the heating tank.

In the case of a domestic hot water system, it is advisable

to dimension the system in such a way that

the demand for heat in summer is completely covered

by solar energy. The boiler can then remain switched

off during the warmer months and, depending on the

design, in spring and autumn, too.

Heating-support systems must also be scaled proportionately

in accordance with the share of solar heat

to total heating energy. The collectors are aligned in

such a way that they absorb as much solar radiation as

possible during winter. The space required for the heat

storage tank, which is usually installed in the heating

or engineering room, must also be taken into account.


Hydropower electricity from the river

Of all the renewable energy sources used to generate electricity in Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation,

hydropower has by far the largest share. The electricity is mainly generated by plants in the gigawatt

power classes. But so-called “small hydropower” with plants of up to 25 megawatts capacity also delivers

many positive effects as a decentralised, local power supply.

Hydroelectric power really comes into its own, above all,

in remote areas such as mountain regions. There, it is

particularly costly to connect small settlements to the

public electricity grid. Harnessing the power of rivers

enables energy generation from hydroelectric power.

Local electricity supply improves living conditions and

thus creates a basis for further economic development.

In more densely populated areas, a stable electricity

supply promotes the settlement and expansion of industry

and commerce. Hydroelectric power plants, for

example, provide the energy used in the production of

building materials, for irrigation and sewage systems,

and for agricultural operations. Municipal facilities,

such as schools and medical care centres, also receive

reliable electricity in this way.

In addition to the off-grid operation of hydroelectric

power plants, integration into public electricity grids is

also an option. The plants supply constant energy and

can reliably cover the base load and stabilise the grids.

In addition, no greenhouse gases are produced during

this energy generation process, and the municipality

makes a contribution to climate protection.



The Francis turbine is a universally applicable water turbine, in

which the impeller is radially impinged from the outside.

The Kaplan turbine is an axial-flow water turbine and is used in

run-of-river power plants.

Possible applications and benefits for municipalities:

Small hydroelectric power plants with a capacity of

up to approx. 25 megawatts support a wide range of

potential applications:

• Power supply to remote villages and regions

• Improving infrastructure in already developed areas

• Covering the base load in the electricity grid

• Securing the supply of electrical energy

• Stabilisation of the groundwater level

• Reduction of climate-damaging emissions

Functional principle and design

Small hydroelectric power plants are usually run-ofriver

(RoR) power plants. They use the hydraulic energy

of flowing water and continuously convert it into electricity.

Pumped storage plants are to be distinguished

from this. These store the water in a reservoir and

generate electrical energy when needed.

A run-of-river power plant works as follows:

Run-of-river or what are also known as ‘diversion’

power plants may also be contructed to channel or divert

water to the power plant via an additional watercourse

alongside the weir and main water body. The

goal is to achieve a greater gradient in order to achieve

more energy.

Another important component in the hydro electric

power plant are the rakes. The metal grilles possess

a dual function. Firstly, they protect the turbine from

damage caused by floating refuse such as branches

and rubbish. Secondly, the small rake distances prevent

fish from entering into the power plant. The mechanical

barrier moves the fish away from their migratory path

with the main current. In order to ensure the continuity

of flowing waters, plant operators often build devices

known colloquially as “fish ladders” at the edge of the


Run-of-river power plants are particularly suitable for

watercourses with high flow velocities. They achieve

very high efficiencies of up to roughly 90 per cent.

The water may first be dammed up at a wier or dam

wall but is not always required. The water upstream of

the power plant (headwater) is higher than the water

downstream of the power plant (tailwater). The steeper

the gradient, the greater the amount of energy generated.

The headwater is fed into the power plant to the turbine.

This drives a generator that subsequently generates

electrical energy (electricity) from the mechanical

energy. After power generation, the tail water flows out

of the plant.


Near-surface geothermal energy

energy from the ground

In the ground, temperatures remain largely stable throughout the year, even just a few metres below the

surface. With the help of a heat pump, this energy can be used to generate heat in winter and, if required,

for cooling in summer.

The immense energy resources hidden deep inside the

earth are only accessible near or on the surface in a few

places around the world for example, in Iceland and

in Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. In these locations

geothermal power plants instead of burning fossil

raw materials tap directly into the earth’s energy.

This means they can generate clean electricity and district

heating all year round.

Even though the ground in most parts of the world is

significantly cooler than that found in volcanically active

zones, it is still a clean and reliable source of energy.

With the help of ground-coupled heat pumps, heat from

the ground can be used to keep buildings warm. Using

electrical drive energy, the heat pump “pumps” the heat

into the heating circuit against the temperature gradient.

Essentially, heat pumps are effective when the

temperature in the ground is just a few degrees warmer,

although the system’s efficiency increases with every

additional degree. Instead of the ground as an energy

source, water, wastewater, waste heat

from machines or even, under certain circumstances,

ambient air can also be used. Some heat pumps can also

reverse their operating direction and provide cooling in

summer by transferring heat from the building to the


Nearly 20 million new heat pump heating systems were

installed around the globe in 2019. In many countries,

they are the most common source of heat for new

buildings, e.g. in the USA. In Europe, Sweden, Estonia,

Finland and Norway are the countries with the

highest share of heat pump-based heating. The use of

heat pumps is particularly suitable where clean electricity

is also available. This can be generated centrally

from wind or hydroelectric power, or via photovoltaic




Surface ground heat absorbers use the heat stored in the

ground. They require a large area and are, therefore, suitable

for larger, undeveloped plots.

For small plots of land or areas with deeper groundwater veins,

geothermal probes aare advantageous.

Possible applications and benefits for municipalities:

Heat pumps can be used where heating energy is required

and heat is reliably available at a low temperature

level. There, they reduce operating costs and CO 2

emissions attributable to room heating:

• Heating buildings of any size with heat

from the earth

• The combination of heating in winter and cooling in

summer (reversible operation)

• The use of waste heat at a low temperature level, e.g.

from machines or wastewater

Functional principle and design

A heat pump-based heating system consists of three

main parts: With the source system, heat is collected

from the ground or another heat source. The heat pump

raises the temperature to the desired level. The distribution

and storage system ensures that the heat arrives in

the right room at the right time.

In order to use the ground as a heat source, horizontal

(geothermal collector) or vertical (geothermal probes)

pipe systems can be deployed. Water mixed with antifreeze

brine flows through these systems. The brine

absorbs the heat from the ground, and the heat pump

renders it usable for people.

the building’s heating system. The vaporous refrigerant

transfers its heat to the heating water. It becomes liquid

again and the cycle can begin anew

The closer the temperature in the building’s floor and in

the heating circuit are to each other, the more heat can

be “pumped” into the building with the same amount of

electricity. It is thus important to combine heat pumps

with, for example, underfloor heating or air heating.

These can achieve a comfortable room temperature in

excess of 20 degrees Celsius with heating circuit temperatures

around 35 degrees Celsius provided the

building is well-insulated. At temperate latitudes, for

example, it is possible to generate more than four kilowatt

hours of usable heating with one kilowatt hour of

electricity, based on an annual average.

So-called reversible heat pumps are also helpful. They

are used for cooling in summer by pumping heat from

the building into the ground by reversing the process

described above. This also has the advantage that the

ground becomes warmer and the heat pump works

more efficiently in winter. As a general principle, good

planning and the coordination of components are particularly

important for heat pumps.

The brine heats the so-called refrigerant in the heat

pump. This is a liquid that evaporates at very low

temperatures. When turned into steam by the heat of

the brine, the refrigerant flows to a compressor. There,

it is compressed with the use of electrical energy. The

gas heats up under pressure. It then meets the medium

of the distribution circuit in a heat exchanger, the

so-called condenser usually the water circulating in


Wind power high-tech with tradition

Engineers have continued in their efforts to improve electricity generation from wind power over recent decades.

Large wind farms, both on- and offshore, can generate enough electricity to supply entire cities. Small

systems are suitable for off-grid villages and settlements.

People have been harnessing the power of wind to

their benefit for centuries, but the boom in wind power

is just a few decades old. In Germany, wind power

contributed in excess of 24 per cent to total electricity

generation in 2019, even surpassing lignite. In Denmark,

where wind energy has long been relied upon

intensively, it even covers almost half of all electricity

demand. Thanks to modern forecasting and control

technology, wind power can be safely integrated into

the electricity grid. In future scenarios developed by

experts, wind energy will play the second largest role in

electricity generation in the long-term after photovoltaics.

Given the temporal differences in electricity

generating profiles, these two forms of energy complement

each other very effectively.

Due to technological developments and economies of

scale in production, the cost of wind energy has fallen

sharply around the globe and, depending on the region,

costs roughly between 5 and 10 US cents per kilowatt

hour, or 3 cents per kWh under particularly favourable

conditions. Offshore power generation is somewhat

more expensive than its onshore sibling because of the

special requirements that characterise its operation, but

offshore wind conditions allow for more stable generation

and supply.

Possible applications and benefits for municipalities:

Wind energy is versatile for grid-connected and offgrid

applications spanning various dimensions:

Today’s wind turbines for onshore use can have hub

heights of approx. 150 metres and rated outputs of over

5 megawatts; while offshore installations can exceed

200 metres and produce more than 10 megawatts.

There are several wind farms with several hundred

megawatts of capacity, and even individual projects

operating in the gigawatt range.

• On- and offshore wind farms for feeding into the

electricity grid

• Feeding into micro grids, e.g. for supplying individual

locations, including in combination with solar

power and batteries

• Small wind turbines for special applications (e.g.

pumping water)

• Replacement or supplementation of diesel generators












floating foundations. The control technology for the

system is located at the bottom of the tower.

Wind turbines for off-grid applications are often not

only smaller but also technically simpler and more robust

than their larger relatives. They require minimum

maintenance. Many of the small installations do not

involve free-standing towers, but rather masts braced

with steel cables. In addition to the classic three-blade

models, there are also various models with a vertical






Construction of a wind turbine:

1) Rotor blade 2) Blade pitch

3) Blade hub 4) Generator brake

5) Gearbox 6) Measuring instruments

7) Nacelle 8) Generator

9) Transformer station 10) Ascent

11) Cable route 12) Tower

13) Foundation

Functional principle and design

Modern wind turbines typically have three rotor blades

made of lightweight and stable fibreglass. The rotor

hub connects the blades and transmits the movement

to the shaft, which leads to the inside of the nacelle situated

at the top of the tower. The nacelle can be rotated

and can, therefore, be aligned according to the wind’s

direction. The rotor blades can also be adjusted, in

order that different wind strengths can be utilised to an

optimum, while damage can be avoided during storms.

The gears translate the slow rotation of the rotor shaft

into the fast movement of the generator.

When planning a wind farm, the first priority is to select

the right location. Wind speed must be measured at

different heights, while the distance and capacity of the

nearest power line must be taken into consideration.

Negative effects on human health have not been proven

to date, but a certain distance from settlements and

houses contributes to their acceptance by the broader

population. In order to protect bird and bat species,

wind farms should also be built outside breeding areas,

bird resting places and nature reserves.

Involving people from the neighbourhood in the wind

farm and its profits through the purchase of shares

has also proven successful.

Wind turbines are generally designed to have a service

life of about twenty years. Depending on their condition,

a general overhaul is then due in order to ensure

further years of operation. Alternatively, the turbines

can be dismantled and replaced by a new, more efficient

turbine. This is known as “repowering”. In view

of the fact that the turbines are primarily made of concrete

and steel, the materials can be further recycled in

the usual processes. Recycling processes are currently

being developed for the rotor blades.

In contrast to a photovoltaic system, a wind turbine

supplies alternating current. The wind turbine tower

can be made of steel or concrete. Lattice towers made

of steel require less material than tubular steel towers.

This makes them lighter and cheaper, but also more

complex to assemble. A foundation of steel and concrete

ensures a solid anchoring. There are various special

construction forms for offshore foundations, ranging

from simple piers to gravity-based foundations and


Biomass stored solar energy

Plants use the energy of the sun to grow. Biomass, e.g. in the form of wood, biogas or biofuels, is thus naturally

stored solar energy. This resource can be harnessed cleanly and sustainably with the help of modern


Biomass refers to material that is of plant and animal

origin. The range extends from wood, to energy crops

such as rapeseed and maize, to waste products such

as animal dung or food processing waste. The carbon

contained therein was taken from the atmosphere by

plants and bound with energy from sunlight through

the process of photosynthesis to form hydrocarbons

that can serve as a source of energy. Bioenergy accounts

for roughly three quarters of renewable energy worldwide.

Over half of this involves traditional biomass use,

i.e. the unregulated burning of wood, dung or charcoal.

However, this produces particulate matter and nitrogen

oxides that are harmful to health. The high fuel

demand is also often accompanied by deforestation and

the loss of natural habitats.

Modern wood-based energy, on the other hand, relies

primarily on standardised fuels such as pellets and

wood chips, which enable regulated and clean combustion

processes, thus leading to improvements in local

air quality. Given that residual materials from local

wood processing such as chips or knotted wood are

mostly used for this purpose, local value creation also

increases. Until recently, wood and charcoal provided

just under half of Europe’s renewable energy, especially

in heat generation. In percentage terms, however, their

share is decreasing due to the expansion of wind and

solar energy, as well as other forms of biomass use.

Wood pellet heating systems offer a fully-fledged replacement

for central heating systems. The pellet boiler

works fully automatically and can heat an entire building.

Pellet stoves for installation in the living room, on

the other hand, can serve as a clean replacement for

simple coal stoves. For larger buildings, e.g. schools or

community centres, woodchip heating systems are a

good option. They are a cost-effective option for heating

municipal buildings, especially in rural regions.

Municipal energy suppliers often rely on woodchips to

generate district heating. Coal in power stations and

cogeneration plants can also be partially replaced by

woodchips. In principle, whenever possible, electricity

and heat should be generated together through cogeneration

in order to use the limited raw material of wood

as efficiently as possible.



Functional principle and design

Wood pellets are produced by compressing wood shavings

and sawdust without the use of any other additives.

Pellet plants are often affiliated with sawmills.

The cylindrical pellets are typically about 6 millimetres

thick and 1 to 4 centimetres long. The pellets are characterised

by a higher heating value than wood chips and

contain little moisture.

Pellet boilers are installed in the boiler room like other

central heating systems. The fuel supply from the

store to the burner is managed automatically, as is the

control system. The combustion heat is transferred to

the boiler. From here, the heat is distributed throughout

the building via radiators, as with any other central

heating system. A heat accumulator compensates for

any deviations between heat generation and demand.

In contrast to gas and oil heating systems, the ash in

a pellet heating system must occasionally be removed

from the collection container. In the case of pellet

stoves to be installed in the living room, fuel is manually

refilled into a storage container, which is then automatically

transported into the combustion chamber.

There are also special pellet stoves that can deliver up

to four-fifths of their heat to a central heating system

via a water bag.

Wood pellet heating: Pellets can be stored in aboveground or

underground tanks. The fuel feed to the heater works automatically.

Possible applications and benefits for municipalities:

Woodchips and pellets are locally produced energy

sources that are easy to store and, therefore, not only

reduce emissions but also increase value creation at a

local level. These are used for electricity and heat generation:

• Generation of electricity and heat from wood chips in

cogeneration plants, e.g. for schools or community


• Generation of district heating with woodchips (if

possible, in cogeneration)

• Operation of central heating systems and stoves with

wood pellets

Woodchips are often produced in mobile chipping

plants directly in forested areas or during landscape

maintenance work. Production from untreated waste

wood is also possible. Wood chips are typically used

for larger heating and cogeneration plants up to the

three-digit megawatt range, as they are more cost-effective

than wood pellets. Compared to wood pellets,

however, they require about three times as much storage

space for the same heating value.

In wood chip systems, the fuel and air supply are also

automatically regulated according to energy demand.

Here, the hot flue gases from the furnace also heat the

water in the boiler first. In order to generate electricity,

steam is produced from this, which is used to drive a

turbine. The residual heat left over after the turbine can

be used for heating (combined heat and power). When

only being used for heat, the boiler transfers the heat

directly to the heating circuit or storage unit.


Biogas stored solar energy to gas

Biogas is produced by fermenting energy crops, slurry, biological waste or similar materials in a fermenter. It

primarily consists of methane and can be used in a similarly flexible way as natural gas for cooking, heating,

electricity generation and even as a fuel.

Biogas is produced by fermentation from organic

substances, from slurry to grass and biogenic waste. If

local waste materials are used for its production, such

as from agriculture or the food and catering industries,

the added value increases at a local level. Biogas consists

mainly of methane, i.e. the substance that is also

the primary component of natural gas, and is similarly


This means that conventional gas-fired power plants,

natural gas-driven cars, heavy goods vehicles or even

ships can also be run on biogas.

One particular advantage of biogas in the course of the

energy transition is its storability. It can effectively

help balance the fluctuating generation of wind and

solar power in the system.

Often, the biogas is used to run local cogeneration

plants standardised mini power plants that supply

electricity and heat at the same time. This ensures a

particularly efficient use of the energy. Biogas can also

be used for cooking, heating and even as a fuel source

for specially adapted vehicles. What’s more, it is possible

to process biogas into pure methane. This can then

be used in exactly the same way as natural gas and can

also be fed into the natural gas grid and extracted again


For farms, the technology offers yet another advantage:

The fermentation residues from the fermenter possess

even better properties as fertiliser when compared to

the starting material.


Functional principle and design

In the fermenter of a biogas plant, microorganisms

produce methane from biogenic materials, called “substrates”

(e.g. maize, rape, straw, slurry or food waste).

Depending on the climate zone, it may be necessary to

heat the fermenter to around 40°C (e.g. with the waste

heat generated during gas utilisation) so that the microorganisms

can work in an optimal way.

Possible applications and benefits for municipalities:

Biogas is a very versatile energy source that can be used

in a similar way to natural gas and not only reduces

CO 2 emissions but also increases local added value:

The gas produced is collected in a gas storage tank. In

addition to the main component of methane (50 to 70

per cent), it also contains other substances whose proportions

vary depending on the substrate in use. Carbon

dioxide (CO 2 ) is the second-largest component of

biogas, accounting for 35 to 50 per cent. The rest is primarily

nitrogen, water, oxygen and hydrogen sulphide.

• Local generation of electricity and heat in cogeneration

plants (e.g. for operating a dairy with gas

production from cattle manure)

• Use of biomethane for cars, heavy goods vehicles

and ships

• Replacement of natural gas with biomethane, e.g. in

heating systems or power plants

• Flexible power generation to compensate for

fluctuating wind and solar power output

Sulphur and water must be removed in a purification

plant. Then the biogas can be used, for example, in

cogeneration plants or vehicles that have been adapted

to use biogas.

An alternative way is to process the gas into biomethane

in a further purification step. The biomethane can be

used like natural gas in conventional heating systems,

engines and power plants. If it is to be fed into a

natural gas network, the last step is to fine-tune it so

that all the properties such as its heating value and

dryness match exactly.

In addition to biogas plants with automatic agitators

and pumps for filling and emptying, there are also very

simple and small models available. These are mostly

used in remote regions. They consist of a simple

container that is filled by hand. These are heated by the

sun. The gas is used, for example, in simple cookers as

an alternative to wood or dung.

Biogas plant with local heating network


Project overview

On the following pages, 20 exemplary projects from different regions that use renewable energy solutions are

presented. These projects demonstrate that the Energy Transition is delivering very practical benefits for people

and communities, which are reflected in lower energy costs and greater security of supply, among others.





19 18




11 2

17 16











Renewable Solution/Technology Location Page

1. Photovoltaics, wind power . . . Nart Töv, Mongolia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

2. Photovoltaics . . . . . . . . . . Kachanovichi, Belarus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

3. Photovoltaics . . . . . . . . . . Duisburg, Germany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

4. Photovoltaics . . . . . . . . . . Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

5. Photovoltaics . . . . . . . . . . Mongun-Taiga, Republic of Tuva, Russian Federation. . . . . . 30

6. Photovoltaics . . . . . . . . . . Tashkent, Uzbekistan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

7. Solar thermal . . . . . . . . . . Chemnitz, Germany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

8. Solar thermal, biomass . . . . . Zwiesel, Germany. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

9. Hydropower . . . . . . . . . . .

Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation . . . . . . 34

10. Hydropower . . . . . . . . . . . Himmelpforten, Germany. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

11. Geothermal, photovoltaics. . . . Grodno, Belarus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

12. Geothermal . . . . . . . . . . . Vershinino, Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

13. Geothermal . . . . . . . . . . . Zhitkovo, Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

14. Wind power . . . . . . . . . . . Ulyanovsk, Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

15. Wind power . . . . . . . . . . . Barwice, Poland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

16. Biomass . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kalinkovichi, Belarus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

17. Biomass . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kobryn, Belarus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

18. Biogas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Forst, Germany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

19. Biogas, wind power, biomass . . Feldheim, Germany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

20. Hydropower . . . . . . . . . . Gudauri, Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45


Mongolia: Hybrid plant supplies electricity for rural training center

The photovoltaic-wind energy hybrid system supplies the MULS field office with electricity.

About 140 kilometres from the capital Ulaanbaater, in

Nart Töv, lies the training centre of the Mongolian University

of Life Sciences. Until a few years ago, a diesel

generator produced electricity there for lighting, small

electrical appliances and for the pumping of drinking

water. Noise and exhaust pollution was a standard feature.

That changed in 2015 thanks to HEOS Energy. The

company built a photovoltaic-wind energy hybrid system

for the rural branch of the university, which makes

living, learning and working on campus much easier.

A small wind turbine with 15 kilowatts of power generates

37,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, while

the photovoltaic system with 6.44 kilowatts of power

supplies 11,500 kilowatt hours of solar electricity. The

electricity can be temporarily stored in leadgel batteries.

An emergency generator secures the energy supply

if the power from the other energy generators and the

storage unit is not sufficient.

Encouraged and inspired by the quiet and emission-free

power generation now available, the operators immediately

added the new greenhouse and workshops.

After commissioning, HEOS trained both teachers and

students on how the off-grid hybrid system works and

how to maintain it.

The hybrid plant was built as part of the Renewable

Energy Solutions Programme of the German Energy

Agency (dena) of which is part of theEnergy Export

Initiative” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs

and Energy.

With information and practical experiments on the topics of

photovoltaics and wind energy, HEOS Managing Director, Dr.

Klaus Hoffmann, added variety in the curriculum for the students

of MULS.



Belarus: Solar power plant secures power supply

Photovoltaic power plant with 1.6 megawatt capacity.

In the Nesvizhskyi district, located in the region of

Minsk, a photovoltaic power plant known as “Kachanovichi”

with a capacity of almost 1.6 megawatts has

been generating electricity for agriculture, industry and

residential buildings since July 2020.

The open-air plant is located on a five-hectare site near

the village of Kachanovichi. Every year, 4,752 photovoltaic

modules feed around 1,501,000 kilowatt hours into

the power grid of the energy provider Minskenergo.

In the rural region, farms, in particular, need a lot of

electricity for grain drying during harvest time. This

fits in well with solar power generation: In summer,

the photovoltaic system generates the majority of the

energy because of the high levels of solar radiation.

The plant generates electricity for agriculture, industry and


The industrial companies in the region also have a high

demand for electricity. The decentralised power plant

supports the power supply of industry and around 1,000


Furthermore, the plant reduces fuel consumption by

about 500 tonnes per year and thus reduces CO 2 emissions.

The proximity to the consumers also reduces the

transport costs for the provision of energy.

The owner of the solar power plant is CJSC REAG Nesvizh,

and the undertaking was realised by the project

company ALC ENECA.

The 4,752 photovoltaic modules feed around 1,501,000 kilowatt

hours into the power grid of the energy supplier Minskenergo

every year


Germany: Cheap solar power for tenants

In municipal housing, service charges for the provision

of energy for tenants are also an issue. The lower the

additional expenses, the easier it is for people with low

incomes to shoulder the financial burden. One area of

potential adjustment is energy supply. The Duisburg-

Süd housing cooperative in the Ruhr region shows a

way for tenants to save with solar power.

The specialist company Solarimo has installed photovoltaic

modules with a total output of 240 kilowatts on

several roofs of a residential complex. In this way, the

housing company avoids 130 tonnes of carbon dioxide

every year and contributes to climate protection.

One of the photovoltaic systems, which has an output

of 100 kilowatts, has been producing electrical energy

for almost 70 tenants since October 2019. Residents

have the option of purchasing the CO 2 -free electricity

at a price that is 20 per cent lower than that of the

external energy supplier. When the sun is not shining

sufficiently, they receive energy from German hydropower

plants. Electricity is sold through Solarimo.

Photovoltaic system with a total output of 240 kilowatts on

several roofs of the residential complex.

After the positive experience enjoyed with the pilot

plant, the housing cooperative decided to launch three

more tenant electricity projects.



Kyrgyzstan: Solar power for a children’s home

Since mid-2015, a photovoltaic system has been generating

solar power for the children’s home in the capital

Bishkek. Around 100 boys and girls live in the “Rehabilitation

Center for Homeless Children”. They benefit

from the energy costs saved by solar power. Numerous

groups of visitors have already learned about energy

generation with the help of the photovoltaic system,

including company representatives, students and

teachers alike.

With a module area of 101 square metres, the system

has an installed capacity of 16.38 kilowatts. It produces

approximately 222,500 kilowatt hours of electricity per

year. In summer, the photovoltaic system covers the

children’s home’s monthly demand of 1,800 kilowatt

hours. In winter, as well as throughout the year, it

keeps the power supply stable. The solar power avoids

carbon dioxide emissions of around 7,430 kilograms


After preparation together with Kyrgyz partners, R.I.D.

GmbH installed the plant. It was built as part of the

Renewable Energy Solutions Programme of the German

Energy Agency (dena) of which is part of theEnergy

Export Initiative” of the Federal Ministry for Economic

Affairs and Energy.

Training on installation, maintenance and service took place

both in Bishkek and in Germany directly at the company R.I.D.


Tuva: Solar diesel hybrid system for remote villages

The autonomous photovoltaic-diesel hybrid system reliably supplies 7,000 residents with electrical energy.

A stable power supply improves living conditions in remote

villages, while solar energy reduces the consumption

of diesel fuel by generators. For these reasons,

the government of the Republic of Tuva decided to use

an autonomous photovoltaic-diesel hybrid system to

supply electricity to two villages in the Mongun-Taiga


The Hevel Group installed solar power systems with a

total output of 550 kilowatts, battery systems with 710

kilowatt hours (kWh) of storage capacity, and diesel

generators. They reliably supply the 7,000 inhabitants

of the villages of Mugur-Aksy and Kyzyl-Khaya with

electrical energy around the clock.

The facilities went into operation in December 2019. In

2020, the Hevel group reported that the solar modules

generated over 750,000 kWh of electricity. One of the

two villages supplies itself exclusively with solar power

during the day, even in winter. The fuel requirement

for diesel generators has been reduced by 30 per cent,

thereby saving approximately 408 tonnes of CO 2 each


The Hevel Group implemented the project with its own

financial resources within the framework of an energy

service contract. The electricity price for consumers

has remained stable. In the long-term, this model will

allow the region to reduce the subsidised cost of diesel

fuel supply.

Solar power plant with an output of 550 kilowatts.



Uzbekistan: Tashkent University uses solar power

The plant demonstrates the opportunities and perspectives of solar power generation and storage

The photovoltaic system, which was installed in 2016 on

the grounds of the Tashkent State Technical University

“Abu Rayhan Beruni”, fulfils multiple goals at once. It

demonstrates the opportunities and perspectives of solar

power generation and storage in Uzbekis tan. Due to its

highly frequented location, it has aroused significant

public interest. It also offers students the opportunity to

deepen their knowledge on the subject of solar energy

through the demonstration object.

Technically, the photovoltaic system, which is elevated

on a flat roof, has two special features. On the one

hand, solar modules with the innovative PERC technology

have been installed. The modules from the German

manufacturer Meyer Burger achieve an above-average

efficiency of over 20 per cent. Secondly, the plant is

coupled to an energy storage system with battery cells

from BAE Batteries.

With an output of 17.4 kilowatts, the photovoltaic system

produces around 267,200 kilowatt hours of solar

electricity every year. This saves about 17,370 kilograms

of carbon dioxide.

The reference plant is a project of BAE Batteries and

Pretherm Solutions. It was built as part of the Renewable

Energy Solutions Programme of the German

Energy Agency (dena) of which is part of theEnergy

Export Initiative” of the Federal Ministry for Economic

Affairs and Energy.


Germany: Plenty of solar heat for apartment buildings

The solar thermal system supplies emission-free energy for room heating and hot water production.

In Chemnitz, Germany, the construction company FASA

AG has demonstrated for many years that solar thermal

systems can cover large parts of the energy demand for

space heating and hot water in buildings in a regenerative

and emission-free way. This reduces heating costs

for the residents and increases the value of the properties.

The current construction project “Solardomizil” is

a lighthouse project for both multi-storey residential

construction and solar heating.

2,317 square metres of solar collectors cover half of the heating

needs for 29 flats.

In the first construction phase with two condominium

complexes (Solardomizil I+II), 317 square metres of

solar collectors will generate enough to meet half of the

heat demand for 29 apartments. In the third construction

phase, which will feature an optimal southern

alignment of the system, FASA will even achieve 60 per

cent solar heat share for the 24 apartments.

FASA set up long-term heat storage tanks with 200

cubic metres of water for the intermediate storage of

the solar heat. These steel tanks extend over several

floors. The additional costs for the solar thermal

systems amount to about ten per cent, but they are

impressive proof that the construction company and

the municipality are committed to a sustainable energy

supply with the help of solar energy.



Germany: Solar heat network of old and new buildings

Two solar thermal systems with a total of 76 square metres of collectors provide heat for the parish centre and the residential building.

In Zwiesel, Bavaria, Germany, planners have come up

with a smart concept to supply an old building and a new

building in a heating network with two solar thermal

systems. The parish owns two buildings; the parish

house had already seen extensive thermal renovation

work in 2006. In 2010, the parish built a modern,

energy- saving building in place of the old parish centre

next door. It houses a lecture room, additional group

rooms, a kitchen and sanitary facilities. Previously, the

200-kilowatt boiler had consumed 25,000 litres of oil a

year; the new parish centre is heated exclusively with

solar heat and wood. The 60-kilowatt pellet boiler only

heats when the sun’s energy is not sufficient.

The solar thermal systems cover 60 per cent of the heat demand

in the parish centre emission-free.

For this purpose, 36 square metres of solar collectors

were mounted on the southeast façade, plus a further

40 square metres of free-standing solar thermal collectors

located beside the main buildings. The systems

cover 60 per cent of the heat demand in the new parish

centre, which shares solar heat with the five-storey

parish residence. The control system ensures that the

solar heat is utilised optimally. As a result, both buildings

are able to cover about 40 per cent of their heating

needs emission-free from the solar systems.

The project was planned and realised by, among others,

the architectural office Löw and the engineering office

Hilz from the Bavarian town of Zwiesel, as well as the

building services company Wölf in the municipality of


The solar heat is optimally distributed to both buildings.


Kabardino-Balkaria: Small hydropower plant with secure returns

The small hydropower plant on the Cherek River produces 60 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.

With its mountains and mountain rivers, the North

Caucasus has ideal geographical conditions for the use

of hydropower. In the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria

alone, plants with 198.1 megawatts of capacity are in

operation. Of these, 73 megawatts belong to the socalled

small hydropower. Last year, the power company

and hydropower plant operator RusHydro commissioned

a small hydropower plant with a capacity delivery

contract (DPM in Russian) for renewable energy in

Verkhnebalkarskaya. The agreement ensures a guaranteed

return for the operators.

The three turbines and generators boast a combined output of

ten megawatts.

With three Voith turbines and three generators with a

total output of ten megawatts, the run-of-river power

plant on the Cherek mountain river produces around

60 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. The plant

helps to secure the electricity supply in the republic and

reduces dependence on electricity supplies from other

regions. With pollution-free electricity generation, it

has minimal impact on the environment. Furthermore,

a stable energy supply promotes the settlement and

expansion of businesses in the mountain region, thus

securing and creating jobs. This, in turn, leads to stable

tax payments in the municipalities.

Electricity from hydropower contributes to a stable energy




Germany: Modernisation of a small hydropower plant

The hydroelectric power plant on the Möhne River has been in operation since 1906 and today produces 2.2 million kilowatt hours of

electricity annually.

Decentralised electricity

generation from hydropower

has a centuries-old


That is why many hydropower

plants have been in

operation for decades.

When the time comes for

modernisation, it is

advisable to also improve

the protection of fish and

water bodies. This was

also the case with the plant in Himmelpforten in North


Several measures also improved the level of environmental

friendliness and conditions for fish stocks. For

example, the rake distances were reduced so that the

fish do not swim into the turbines. They reach their

spawning grounds via a new device known colloquially

as a “fish ladder”.

In 1906, the diversion power plant in the river Möhne

was put into operation for the first time. It has been

generating electricity with two turbines ever since.

After more than 100 years of operation, the hydropower

plant was to be modernised. A Kaplan tubular turbine

with 600 kilowatts of power was installed, which went

into operation at the beginning of 2012. The highly

efficient plant generates around 2.2 million kilowatt

hours of electricity per year. That is a third more than

The new Kaplan tubular turbine with 600 kilowatts of power.

before and enough for 624 households. The annual CO 2

avoidance amounts to 900 tonnes.


Belarus: Heat from the earth, electricity from the sun

Heat pumps supply energy for heating and hot water. Photovoltaic modules are installed on the façade and provide clean electricity.

In Grodno, in the far west of Belarus, a ten-storey residential

building with a special form of energy supply

was built in 2017. Three geothermal heat pumps with

a total output of 136 kilowatts provide heat for heating

and hot water. Underfloor heating distributes the heat

in the 120 flats.

Part of the total of 300 photovoltaic modules is installed on the


While the load-bearing walls are made of bricks, the

outer walls are made of aerated concrete blocks, which

provide better thermal insulation. The rooms are

equipped with automatic ventilation systems. Heat is

recovered from the exhaust air and waste water via heat

exchangers, thus pre-heating the fresh air and water

respectively before they enter the building.

A total of almost 300 photovoltaic modules are installed

on the roof and façade. They generate 64,000 kilowatt

hours of climate-friendly solar electricity annually,

which is sold to the local grid operator. An information

screen in the building shows in real time how much

energy is currently being generated and consumed in

the building.

The house in Grodno is part of a project funded through

the UNDP Global Environmental Finance (UNDP-GEF)

programme to increase energy efficiency in new buildings,

which also includes buildings in Minsk and




Russia: Secondary school heats its buildings with geothermal heatpumps

The village school uses geothermal energy for heating and hot water supply.

The newly built village school of Vershinino in the

Tomsk region of Siberia has been heated and supplied

with hot water by geothermal heat pumps since 2014.

With the help of 28-vertical geothermal probes that

reach down approximately 50 metres, the plant extracts

heat from the ground. Two heat pumps raise the

low temperature level from the ground to 55 degrees

Celsius so that the energy can be used for heating and

hot water production. The temperature can be increased

up to 100 °C if necessary. Together, the two heat pumps

provide a heating output of 84 kilowatts. To generate

four kilowatt hours of heating, only one kilowatt hour

of electrical energy needs to be used. The 1,454 square

metre school building is heated via underfloor heating

combined with room thermostats. The entire system

was implemented by Ecoklimat, a Siberian company

specialising in heat pump heating systems.

The 28-vertical geothermal probes reach down into the earth

approximately 50 metres.

If the school were heated with fossil fuels, 19 tonnes

of natural gas or 25 tonnes of diesel would be needed

annually. The modern heating technology pays for itself

within a few years and ensures a high degree of independence

from fossil fuels.

The two heat pumps with a heating capacity of 84 kilowatts.


Russia: School cuts heating costs to a quarter with geothermal energy

The school in Zhitkovo can reduce heating costs by around 75 per cent with the help of heat pumps.

The secondary school inZhitkovo in Leningrad Oblast

has been heated with geothermal heat pumps since the

end of 2020. Previously, an electric convection heating

system provided heat in the brick building from 1965

with 1,150 square metres of heated room space. The

energy costs were 3 to 3.5 million roubles annually. According

to calculations, the new heating system should

reduce costs by 75 per cent. The investment in the new

heating system will thus pay for itself in just six years.

Three heat pumps are installed in the new boiler room,

which together can provide 91 kilowatts of heating

power. In addition, there is an electric boiler with 21

kilowatts of power and a 1,000-litre buffer tank. The

electrically driven heat pumps extract energy from

14 geothermal probes that reach 145 metres into the

ground. The temperatures in the ground are +5 to

+10°C, even in winter. In the building, the heat is

distributed via new low-temperature radiators with

thermostatic valves.

The “Centre for Energy Saving and the Improvement

of Energy Efficiency of the Leningrad Administrative

District” included the school in the list of “demonstration

sites with high energy efficiency”. Students from

the educational institutions of the Leningrad Administrative

District visit the building to learn about energyefficient

technologies. In addition, representatives of

interested companies and organisations can learn about

the technologies used in order to implement further

successful projects.

The three heat pumps extract energy from the ground at a

depth of 145 metres.



Russia: Wind farm strengthens research and creates jobs

“Ulyanovsk 1”: Russia’s first commercial wind farm with 28 wind turbines and a total capacity of 35 megawatts.

In 2018 and 2019, Russia’s first commercial wind farm

was built in Ulyanovsk on the banks of the Volga River:

“Ulyanovsk 1”. It consists of 28 turbines with a total

capacity of 35 megawatts and supplies 8 per cent of the

region’s electricity. At the local Ulyanovsk State Technical

University, where courses in renewable energies

are now also offered, it serves as a demonstration and

research project.

The wind farm was initiated by the Finnish energy

company Fortum and the Russian Direct Investment

Fund (RDIF). Fortum is also developing further wind

and solar power plants in Russia. The Danish company

Vestas not only supplied part of the wind turbines, but

is also setting up a manufacturing facility for rotor

blades in the city creating new local jobs in wind

power. One other pleasing effect: Since the wind

turbines have dominated the skyline of Ulyanovsk, the

wind farm has also become the Instagram hotspot in

the area. In the meantime, many more wind farms have

been built in the region and more are to follow.


Poland: Wind power replaces lignite

The Barwice wind farm generates 112 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough for 27,000 four-person households.

Since April 2020, 14 wind turbines have been turning at

the Barwice wind farm near the town by the same name

in north-western Poland, each with a rotor diameter

of 113 metres and an output of 3 megawatts. Together,

they generate 112 gigawatt hours of electricity a year

enough to supply 27,000 four-person households and

avoid around 48,000 tonnes of CO 2 emissions annually.

Wirtgen Invest Energy implemented this project, and

the turbines are from Siemens Gamesa. To date, 70 per

cent of electricity in Poland comes from lignite, which

leads to particularly high CO 2 emissions. Poland has a

high potential for onshore and offshore wind energy.

After stagnation in recent years, a total of 3.5 gigawatts

of wind power capacity was awarded in a tender process

in 2018 and 2019. The production of wind turbines

and components has developed into a great economic

realisation in Poland with a turnover of several hundred

million euros. Siemens Gamesa alone employs more

than 200 people in Poland.



Belarus: Electricity and district heating from woodchip

The plant has reduced heat generation costs by 20 per cent by using wood chips.

The short-rotation plantation (SRP) Kommunalnik

Kalinkowitschskiy has been using woodchips to generate

district heating and electricity in the small town

of Kalinkowitschi in the south of Belarus since 2018. In

total, the local heating plant provides 56.5 megawatts

of district heating capacity. Of this, 10 megawatts come

from a woodchip boiler from the Lithuanian manufacturer

Enerstena. In addition, three natural gas boilers

are used for hot water. Another woodchip boiler

with 6.5 megawatts of thermal output was combined

with a turbo generator from Siemens to form what is

known as cogeneration or combined heat and power

(CHP), which now supplies 1.39 megawatts of electrical

output. In this way, it was possible to reduce heat

generation costs by 20 per cent. The heating plant has

created jobs for 30 people. CO 2 emissions are expected

to fall by 368,000 tonnes over the life of the plant. The

project was financed with the help of USD 14.17 million

from the International Bank for Reconstruction and


The CHP plant recovers thermal energy to achieve great



Belarus: Wood-fired heating plant reduces district heating costs

The wood chips are stored behind the boiler house.

In Kobrin, a town of 50,000 inhabitants in the southwest

of Belarus, Kobrinskoe ZhKH (which means

housing and communal services) commissioned a new

boiler house in 2019, which is fired with wood chips.

It reduces dependence on imported natural gas and

increases local value creation. The three boilers, each

with a peak output of four megawatts, were manufactured

by the Belarusian-French company JLLC Komkont

based in Gomel. Kobrinskoe ZhKH also operates its own

wood chip production and logistics. The bottom line is

that the new plant reduces the costs for district heating

by around 40 per cent.

The use of wood chips in the new boiler house reduces energy

production costs by 40 per cent.

The modern wood-fired heating centre is equipped

with an automatic fuel supply and automated control

technology, and the boilers have an efficiency of 91 per

cent. During the heating season, the new boiler house

operates in parallel with an existing gas boiler plant;

in the warmer season, the gas boilers are switched off.

According to calculations, the new boiler house saves

14 million cubic metres of natural gas annually and will

thus reduce CO 2 emissions by 449,000 tonnes over its


Boiler with a peak output of four megawatts and an efficiency

of 91 per cent.

The new construction of the boiler house in Kobrin is

part of the project entitled “Use of wood biomass for

district heating” funded by the International Bank for

Reconstruction and Development, which includes a

total of 20 boiler houses.



Germany: Electricity, gas and heat from chicken manure and energy crops

The biogas plant supplies 60 gigawatt hours of energy annually, enough to heat 4,000 homes.

In the small town of Forst in Lusatia, a region in

eastern Germany dominated by lignite, the company

“Bioenergiepark Forst GmbH & Co. KG” has been feeding

biomethane into the natural gas grid of the local

operator Ontras VNG since 2014. The biogas is obtained

from the fermentation of poultry manure and renewable

raw materials.

The treatment plant has a capacity of 700 standard cubic

metres per hour. Each year, it supplies biomethane with

an energy content of 60 gigawatt hours enough to

heat 4,000 homes.

The plant uses a special gas treatment process named

EnviTec Biogas AG, after the company that designed it.

The hollow fibre membranes used enable a gas purity of

96 per cent methane. The arrange ment of the membranes

in a horizontal cartridge system within the plant

ensures that twice as much biogas can be purified in

the same space as with conventional processes.

The special gas treatment process enables a gas purity of 96 per

cent methane.

In addition to the processing plant, the biogas is also

used to operate a combined heat and power plant,

which has an electrical output of 549 kilowatts.

Chicken manure and renewable raw materials ferment in the

fermenters, thereby producing gas.


Germany: “Bioenergy village” Feldheim supplies itself with wind, sun and biogas

55 wind turbines supply most of the village’s electricity, 250 gigawatt hours per year

The lion’s share of the electricity, 250 gigawatt hours

per year, is supplied by the 55 wind turbines. In

addition, there are 2.75 gigawatt hours of solar power,

which come from 284 decentralised photovoltaic

systems. Together with a lithium-ion battery with a

capacity of 10.7 megawatt hours, this becomes an intelligent

power grid.

A combined heat and power plant with 0.5 megawatts of

electrical power generates electricity and heat from biogas.

The approximately 130 inhabitants of the village of

Feldheim, southwest of Berlin, have taken the topic

of energy supply into their own hands: Since 2010,

they have been supplying themselves with electricity

and heat from renewable energies. 90 per cent of the

houses are connected to the local heating network. The

customers are also shareholders of Feldheim Energie

GmbH & Co KG. They now save 31 per cent on electricity

and 10 per cent on heating costs and can rely on stable

prices. Local businesses benefit from the construction

and operation of the facilities. The project attracts

interested parties and is part of collaborative research

efforts with universities.

In addition, a combined heat and power plant with

0.5 megawatts of electrical output provides 4 gigawatt

hours of electricity and 2.2 gigawatt hours of heat for

the local heating network per year. It is operated with

biogas from maize silage and liquid manure, while the

fermentation residues serve as fertiliser. In winter,

a woodchip plant provides additional heat. Feldheim

has received a grant from the EU for the local heating

network. In total, the bioenergy village avoids around

170,000 tonnes of CO 2 emissions per year.



Georgia: Small hydropower helps to support tourism

The Aragvi II small hydropower plant blends inconspicuously into Georgian nature.

In Georgia, hydropower plays an important role in

securing a reliable energy supply and reducing dependence

on fossil fuels. In the north-east of Georgia, the

Aragvi II small hydropower plant supports the electricity

supply of the emerging ski and tourism region of

Gudauri. For small and large hydropower projects, it is

particularly important to assess and consider the environmental

impacts before, during and after completion.

For the Aragvi II project, it was particularly important

that the power plant did not disturb the natural environment.

The power plant, which includes the operator’s

office, the primary machinery and the turbine, is

designed to blend into the mountain landscape. The 2

MW horizontal Francis turbine provided by Voith Hydro

generates approximately 13 GWh per year, depending on

the season, and was commissioned in early 2019. With

many years of experience, Voith Hydro is one of the

leading industrial partners for the planning, construction,

maintenance and modernisation of hydropower

plants in the region.

With an output of three megawatts, the turbine generates

around 13 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.

Hydropower ensures a reliable energy supply and thus promotes

tourism in Georgia.


Further contact information

Institution Name

Main Address


Contact Email

Website Address


German Economic Information Centre in Belarus

220116 Minsk, Gazeta Pravda Avenue 11A +375 17 378 81 41

Информационный центр немецкой экономики


220116 г. Минск, Проспект Газеты «Правда» 11A https://belarus.ahk.de

Representative Office of German Business in Belarus

220116 Minsk, Gazeta Pravda Avenue 11A +375 17 2554324

Представительство немецкой экономики в Республике Беларусь


220116 г. Минск, Проспект Газеты «Правда» 11 https://belarus.ahk.de


Association of Renewable Energy of Kazakhstan

010000 Nur-Sultan, Yanushkevich St. 1 +7 (701) 710-89-15

Ассоциация возобновляемой энергетики Казахстана (АВЭК)


010000 г. Нур-Султан, ул. Янушкевича 1 kazrenergy.com

Solar Power Association of Kazakhstan

010000 Nur-Sultan, distr. Chubary, Alexander Knyaginin St. 11 +7 701 286 69 50

ОЮЛ «Казахстанская ассоциация солнечной энергетики»


010000 г. Нур-Cултан, мкр. Чубары, ул. Александра Княгинина, д. 11 https://spaq.kz/rus/

Kazakhstan and


Delegation of German Business for Central Asia

Kazakhstan, 050040 Almaty, Business center «Koktem Square»,

Bostandykski rayon, mdistr. Koktem 1, 15 a

Представительство германской экономики в Центральной Азии +7 727 356 10-61 bis -66

Казахстан, 050040 г. Алматы, Бизнес-центр «Koktem Square»,

Бостандыкский район, мкр. Коктем 1, 15 a





Institution Name

Main Address


Contact Email

Website Address


Russian Association of Wind Power Industry +7 495 134 68 88

197706 St. Petersburg, Tokareva St. 8/12 +7 981 980 0846 whatsap

Ассоциация ветроиндустрии


197706 г. Санкт-Петербург, ул. Токарева, 8/12 www.rawi.ru

Distributed Power Generation Association

125167 Moscow, Victorenko St. 5, building 1, BC «Victory Plaza»

Ассоциация малой энергетики +7 351 247 33 99

125167 г. Москва, ул. Викторенко, 5, energo@energo-union.com

строение 1, БЦ «Victory Plaza»


Photovoltaic Industry Association

Ассоциация предприятий солнечной энергетики



Russia Renewable Energy Development Association

123610 Moscow, Krasnopresnenskaya embankment 12, entrance 6 +7 (495) 115-10-34

Ассоциация развития возобновляемой энергетики (АРВЭ)


123610 г. Москва, Краснопресненская набережная, д. 12, подъезд 6 https://rreda.ru/

Eurosolar Russia

119334 Moscow, Leninsky prospekt 38A

Некоммерческое партнерство по Раазвитию Возобновляемых +7 985 760-8010

источников энергии ЕВРОСОЛАР Русская секция


119334 г. Москва, Ленинский проспект, д. 38А http://www.eurosolarrussia.org/

German-Russian Chamber of Commerce Abroad

121087 Moscow, Business-Center Fili Grad,

Beregovoy Proezd 5A, building 1

Российско-Германская внешнеторговая палата +7 495 234 49 50

121087 r. Москва, Бизнес-центр «Фили Град», ahk@russland-ahk.ru

Береговой проезд, д. 5А, к.1



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