07.2022 - 03.2024

Strategic Energy utilization plan of cologne

The City of Cologne has set itself the goal of being climate-neutral by 2035 [1]. Among other things, this means that all GHG emitters that can be directly influenced by the City of Cologne, including the associated companies within and outside the city area, must not emit more greenhouse gases (GHG) than can be bound naturally or artificially. This means that the city of Cologne, like many other major cities, faces the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve its self-imposed climate neutrality targets as quickly as possible. The main challenges here lie in converting the heat supply for space heating, domestic hot water and process heat. The transformation process in the area of heat supply requires long-term strategic planning in particular. In addition to technical analyses, this planning also includes networking the most important players so that municipal heat planning can be successful. In order to develop an initial strategy, the City of Cologne commissioned FfE and Averdung Ingenieure & Berater to draw up a strategic energy utilisation plan focusing on the heat supply and to derive specific measures for the heat transformation in Cologne from this plan.  

Role of FfE

Within the scope, FfE is responsible for two work packages: firstly, the creation of the energy utilization plan and secondly, the development of a tool for the design of energy systems. 

Procedure for the creation of the energy utilization plan

Three steps are planned for the development of the energy utilization plan: 

  1. status quo analysis with visualisation of relevant demand and potentials, 
  1. regional prioritisation of different heat supply technologies, and 
  1. development of supply scenarios for future heat supply. 

The basis of the energy utilization plan is the determination of the status quo. Firstly, based on existing data the local building stock is spatially resolved and mapped. From this the particularly relevant key figures, such as heat demand density and heat occupancy density, are determined.  

Secondly, the areas of potential heat networks will be differentiated and prioritised (both district heating and island networks) and individual supply solution are identified. Furthermore, a prioritisation of the systems and measures, such as refurbishment rates and depths, are carried out among others. Afterwards, these solutions are rolled out across the city and a cartographic representation is made for the different heat supply scenarios for Cologne.

Procedure of the development of the energy system model 

The tool will enable the City of Cologne to carry out and estimate its own assessments of potential energy supply system scenarios even after the study has been completed. The tool will be implemented in Excel to enable user-friendly operation.  

For the valuation of different energy concepts, it requires various input data, such as information on the the building status and energy standard, in order to calculate electricity, heating and cooling load profiles. Therefore, the tool is divided into two parts. In the first part, input data is used to create and analyze the load profiles, and in the second part, the supply concepts are dimensioned and evaluated based on the load profiles created in the first subtool. The evaluation is carried out in particular on the basis of techno-economic parameters.


[1] Stadt Köln, Klimaziele für Köln, https://www.stadt-koeln.de/artikel/69164/index.html (abgerufen am 19.12.21)