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Energy Technology in NRW

Advancing the energy transition with innovative solutions

The responsible use of energy and raw materials is crucial in order to effectively counteract advancing climate change. 

The industry dedicated to this task is energy technology: It encompasses innovative solutions for the efficient and sustainable generation, storage, use and recycling of energy. The focus here is on the sustainable production of future-oriented technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal plants and biomass power plants for green electricity and heat. The industry is also active on a digital level, developing software solutions for companies that enable them to set and monitor decarbonization targets, among other things.

As a major energy and industrial state, NRW is making a significant contribution to the climate-friendly energy transition in Germany. Around one fifth of Germany's electricity is produced in NRW, which is also home to numerous SMEs and energy-intensive industries.

With its numerous energy technology companies, NRW plays a pioneering role in the industry. These include manufacturers of energy generation technologies, energy supply companies, battery manufacturers, energy efficiency companies, service providers for renewable energies, and technology companies for smart grids. They create a large number of new jobs, especially for skilled workers, and form synergies with scientific institutions. In addition, many energy technology startups have been spun off from universities and colleges in NRW. 

It is precisely because NRW is so heterogeneous and complex that I believe it is a perfect real-world laboratory. In a real-world laboratory, innovative approaches can be tested under practical conditions and a lot can be learned. In the NRW real-world laboratory, we can investigate how transformation works, how the energy transition can be implemented and how climate protection can be organized – with a secure energy supply, competitiveness and social compatibility.


Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick

Scientific Managing Director of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

55,100 people

work in the energy technology sector in NRW.

1,100 companies

in the sector are based in NRW. This corresponds to around 17 percent of all German companies.

9.6 billion

euros in sector sales are recorded in NRW every year. This accounts for around a third of the sector's sales throughout Germany.

1.7 billion euros in exports

are generated by the energy technology sector in NRW every year. This corresponds to an export quota of 17 percent.

Traditional companies focus on energy technology

Global players and innovation drivers: Major companies in the sector from NRW are the driving force behind Germany's energy transition. They offer the experience and resources to implement and expand innovative technologies from research. 



Vaillant Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG


Metro AG

Schneider Electric GmbH

STAWAG Energie

Quarzwerke GmbH

Innovative and trend-setting: energy technology startups

The energy technology sector benefits from new ideas and the numerous startups in NRW. Ambitious founders create innovative technologies that can then be implemented in NRW's densely populated industrial landscape. 


@Petrmalinak, shutterstock



Focusing on environmentally friendly and sustainable production

Whether global players, hidden champions or ambitious startups, representatives of the energy technology sector are increasingly focusing on environmentally friendly and sustainable production processes. Areas of focus include the cement and lime industries, the foundry industry, and the development of simplified synthesis processes with lower CO2 emissions.

Recycling released CO2

Recycling released CO2

In the cement and lime industries, decarbonization plants can be used to capture, transport and effectively use the CO2 released during the calcination process. With the support of the EU, the process is to be scaled up and quickly made available for production emissions that are difficult to reduce.

Decarbonizing the foundry industry

Decarbonizing the foundry industry

Innovative transformation approaches are currently being developed specifically for NRW. These will be used to determine the technical, economic and political framework conditions in order to advance the decarbonization of the foundry industry. The InnoGuss project, for example, is the first to examine the specific conditions of iron, steel, light metal and non-ferrous metal foundries in NRW and uses model foundries to show holistic paths to low-emission processes.

DME synthesis in one process step

DME synthesis in one process step

Mitsubishi Power Europe's plant in Duisburg is using a new process to synthesize dimethyl ether (DME) in a single step. DME is considered a promising energy source due to its low-emission combustion. 

Photo credits

© mauritius images / Westend61
© Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy
© Shestakov Dmytro, shutterstock
© Vaillant
© Goodman
© Summit Art Creations, shutterstock
© visdia, AdobeStock
© Quarzwerke
© Nanoo GmbH
© Petrmalinak, shutterstock
© Andrew Angelov, shutterstock
© ArieStudio, shutterstock
© DedMityay, shutterstock
© Mitsubishi Power Europe

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Innovation topics

North Rhine-Westphalia has long since ceased to be just the land of heavy industry and staid SMEs. In a dynamic environment of excellent research clusters, innovative startups, world market and industry leaders and globally active SMEs, a federal state has developed that stands for economic success in Germany like no other. Whether e-mobility, cyber security, Industry 4.0 or biotech or medtech: In NRW, people are already working on the future.



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