The end of hard coal-fired power generation by 2038 is certain. Even today, it is necessary to shape the structural change at the power plant locations in NRW and to build up new value added. From logistics and power plant construction to energy generation and heat extraction, the entire value chain is involved, including research and development. Several thousand jobs are currently still dependent on the energy industry, which is essentially based on fossil fuels.
The end of coal-fired power generation by 2038 poses a particular challenge for the municipalities concerned. Intensive structural policy efforts are needed to compensate for the negative effects. At the same time there is a unique opportunity to use the withdrawal of the power plants for new settlements and development of the areaks. In order to raise the growth potential a broad-based approach is needed at an early stage: sustainable regional and land development that considers technological solutions and social challenges.
This process can only lead to lasting success if regional learning and synergy effects can be achieved. A strategy process with municipal fields of action must be coordinated regionally. The North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy has commissioned Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH to moderate this process with a project office.
Fields of action
As a polycentric conurbation the Metropole Ruhr suffers from a considerable shortage of space. However, economic growth requires commercial and industrial areals. These must be developed primarily on brownfield sites in order to meet climate protection and sustainability goals. But brownfield sites in particular are often contaminated or poorly developed. Their development costs are then so high that they are not marketable. In order to close the delta at a marketable price, the affected municipalities need financial support. The project office supports by screening specific areas and developing conversion potentials.
Mobility & Infrastructure
Without an effort to create a sustainable mobility system, the Metropole Ruhr will not be able to exploit its current and future potential for more growth. For this reason, the project office supports local authorities in developing concepts together with partners which realise goods and passenger mobility in such a way that distances are shorter and places can be reached more quickly. In doing so, the economies of scale offered by digitisation are to be used to the best possible extent.
Energy & climate protection
For 200 years the economic success of the Metropole Ruhr was dependent on the availability of hard coal as a source of energy and the energy-intensive industries that settled here as a result. An initial wave of structural change has resulted in the creation of a more resilient economic structure through the targeted establishment of a vital university and higher education landscape and a targeted diversification of the economy, which has nevertheless retained an efficient industrial core. The Ruhr Area's world-leading know-how in technical environmental protection has also contributed to this. The project office would like to push ahead with projects that build on this. The challenge of making the industrial core a global leader in resource efficiency and digitalisation is an opportunity for the Ruhr Metropolis. It can establish itself, as in technical environmental protection, as a pioneer in research and development and new production processes.
Innovation & Education
The successes achieved so far in the transformation of the Metropole Ruhr have shown that it can only be achieved by the consistent expansion of excellent education and training opportunities as well as research and development that is both broad-based and top-class. The project office wants to help to strengthen this path of success by describing a consistent growth course and to develop offers also together with the municipalities, which have so far only benefited below average from the expansion of the knowledge landscape in the Ruhr Area. In this context, it is particularly important to expand those areas that will be decisive for a climate-friendly, resource-efficient and digitalised economy
The project office supports the municipalities in the process of preparing concrete project outlines. The respective needs for action are jointly analysed. Project ideas are prioritized and finally qualified. The regional approach strengthens the sustainable impact. The region thus has the opportunity to proactively shape structural change and turn challenges into opportunities.