About NEW 4.0
Our energy supply is in urgent need of modernisation. This fundamental restructuring has begun with the energy transition. The increasing development of renewable energies is changing the demands made on the German energy supply system.
The increasing flexibility of energy generation and demand, the rapid expansion of grids and the further development of the current energy market design are important and challenging components of a successful energy transition in Germany. The integration of electricity from renewable energy sources into the energy system, from storage to conversion and load shifting, is increasingly becoming one of the key technical and economic challenges. In addition, there are soft factors such as the architecture of market conditions, the increase in acceptance among the general public and the creation of education and training opportunities to train skilled workers.
The ‘NEW 4.0 – Norddeutsche EnergieWende’ (Northern German Energy Transition) joint project is facing up to all these challenges. For example, in a comprehensive, large-scale practical testing of the system integration of renewable energies, it is linking Hamburg’s load centres and those on the Lower Elbe in Schleswig-Holstein with Schleswig-Holstein‘s wind energy generation centres to form one single energy region. The goal of NEW 4.0 is to provide a framework to supply the entire region with 100 percent renewable electricity, safely and reliably, as early as 2035. To this end, generation and consumption will be coordinated through a technology- open shift from a load-driven to a predominantly supply-oriented and flexible energy system with refined market rules.
For the trial phase to be a success, the legal framework must create temporary conditions that permit experiments in ongoing market processes. For this purpose, in May 2017 the Federal Cabinet approved the so-called experimentation clause. The key features of the resulting SINTEG regulation are the exceptional rules to avoid economic disadvantages for project participants as a result of their project activities. Although the regulation is certainly not yet perfect, it allows a gradual implementation of sector coupling.
NEW 4.0 is one of five projects sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) from the end of 2016 to the end of 2020 as part of the “Smart Energy Showcases – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition (SINTEG)” funding programme. Altogether, in the north German showcase around 60 partners have joined up to form an innovation alliance, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the energy transition within 100 individual projects, of which 25 are demonstrators. With an investment and funding volume of almost 125 million euros, the aim is to showcase the “energy transition business case” in the region and thus present a “blueprint” for the nationwide energy transition.
What‘s it all about?
NEW 4.0 is a unique innovation alliance of companies, scientists and politicians has emerged in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein under the title »NEW 4.0«. This major cross-regional project is intended to show how the entire region, with 4.5 million inhabitants, can be supplied with 100% reliable, renewable energy by the end of 2035. »NEW« stands for the Northern German Energy Transition (German: Norddeutsche EnergieWende) and »4.0« describes the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution: the digitalisation of industry and the intelligent networking of systems as part of the energy transition. The project is planned to last four years, from 2016 to 2020. NEW 4.0 is aimed at implementing sustainable energy supply and thus strengthening the sustainability of the region. Approximately 60 partners in the region bundle all the necessary expertise and problem-solving potential to give a decisive boost to the energy transition in the north of Germany.