Can you imagine a world where (renewable) energy is generated with a power plant which you cannot see, nor hear, nor smell? What if I tell you that there is at least one case that fulfils all above criteria? The case I am talking about is the Praterkraftwerk in Munich, which I got to visit during a recent stay in the city.
Let’s all assume for once that nature provides enough energy to sustain ourselves using renewables. In order to reach a carbon neutral future we have to make the shift. And solutions like the Praterkraftwerk, which by the way saves up to 9000t CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuels, create an interesting balance between producing energy and remaining the beauty of the spot.
Hydro power is the oldest form of energy production, however it’s potential often gets neglected. Now, Greencity Energy and Stadtwerke Munich (local energy supplier) implemented a hydropower plant in the middle of the city, right at the Prater Island, which is surrounded by historic buildings, lovable spaces like the Isar beaches as well as busy roads. The plant works in a channel of 150m length and within a space that is 5x5m underneath the surface. The river at that point has a distance in height of 10m, which is the initial base for the technical potential. Since there is not enough water all year around the plant runs 250 days a year, generating 10 million kWh a year. This amount feeds 4000 households a year (8 to 10 thousand people). This may not be such a gigantic number, but it is a start. Just a sidenote: the plant works fully automatic.
What do you think about this solution? Do you know about something similar in your city?