Transforming Berlin airport into a pioneering energy hub

Berlin airport makes way for urban technologies

When one of Germany's oldest airports closes its runway, it will become home to one of the largest urban development projects in Europe.

The space where 20 million people a year now rush off on new adventures, will transform into a research and industrial park for urban technologies and a residential quarter with up to 6,000 flats — all built with the energy of tomorrow in mind.

E.ON and Berliner Stadtwerke will supply heat and cooling to this new district, known as Berlin TXL, using a pioneering low-temperature network called LowEx.

This environmentally friendly technology is similar to district heating – where one energy centre generates heat and power and is connected to homes or businesses through a network of pipes. LowEx however, operates at much lower temperatures – no higher than 40 degrees Celsius. This reduces heat loss and makes the system more efficient.

Unlike other districts, the energy in Berlin TXL will be generated, stored and consumed there. It will be home to a mix of power plants with sustainable energy at their heart, including air source heat pumps, photovoltaic and geothermal energy, combined heat and power, and waste water heat.

The LowEx network will also be able to take in energy from renewable energy sources on site, so businesses and residents in the district fitted with renewable systems can make, as well as consume energy.

The need for innovative heat and power solutions has never been greater. The heating and cooling in our buildings and industry makes up half of the EU's energy consumption. As Germany's largest city, Berlin is working hard to tackle its CO2 emissions and aims to be “climate neutral" by 2050.

Our next-generation energy solutions are a perfect fit for this new district, which is set to be a meeting place for entrepreneurs, students, investors, manufacturers, and scientists. Working together, we will be able to develop new solutions for the cities of tomorrow.

With innovative projects like this taking place around Europe, we are working to support a brighter future for us all.