The expansion of renewable energy generation has a key role to play on the road to climate neutrality. By 2030, at least 80 per cent of the electricity consumed in Germany is to come from renewable energies. It will not be possible to achieve the goal of greenhouse gas neutrality and thus contribute to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees by increasing efficiency and making savings alone. In Bocholt, it is therefore particularly important to utilise wind and solar energy much more than before. But water, biomass and geothermal energy can also contribute to the goal of climate neutrality.
Currently, 44 GWh = gigawatt hours of solar power are generated in Bocholt. This is currently mostly solar collectors on roof surfaces. In order to become climate-neutral, the amount of solar energy utilised must be increased eightfold. Homeowners, commercial and industrial companies, the public sector and owners of outdoor areas, including farmers, can contribute to this. It is also important for Bocholt to increase the number of solar thermal systems. These are systems that generate heat from sunlight instead of electricity. In this way, hot water for showers and heating can be produced on your own roof.
Ground-mounted PV systems
In addition to solar systems on roof surfaces, ground-mounted photovoltaic systems, or PV-FFA for short, can make a contribution to climate-neutral energy supply. The city of Bocholt has drawn up a special catalogue of criteria for the spatial control and technical evaluation of potentials. The criteria include the issue of grid connection, municipal value creation and the aspect of citizen participation. In principle, urban land-use planning is required in Bocholt for the approval of a PV-FFA; exceptions may apply for systems in connection with agricultural operations in accordance with Section 35 BauGB.
Around 20 wind turbines were in operation in Bocholt in 2023. They generate a total of 48.8 GWh of wind power per year. The turbines are mainly located in the four designated wind concentration zones in Hemden and Liedern. In order to become climate-neutral, the proportion of wind power produced in Bocholt must be increased many times over in the future. This can be achieved by repowering existing turbines to increase their output, but also by erecting new turbines in the urban area.
WWK Partnerschaft für Umweltplanung was commissioned to draw up a site concept for wind turbines in Bocholt in order to control and distribute the turbines spatially and identify further potential areas outside these zones. The results of the study are expected in the first half of 2024.
To generate energy from hydropower, a total of three hydropower plants are operated on the Bocholter Aa in Bocholt, which convert the water flow into energy at the Eisenhütte weir and near the Aasee lake.
There are also several biogas plants in the city of Bocholt that generate CO2-neutral energy. Thanks to the high flexibility of production, energy can be supplied as required and, above all, support peak electricity.
Energy map of the Borken district
An overview of existing wind energy, ground-mounted PV, biogas and hydropower plants as well as further information can be found on the Borken district energy map: