On trust in science: Kretschmann highlights “Windy Cities”

50th anniversary of Universities of Applied Sciences

Great ideas are sometimes hidden in seemingly small things. This is also the case with power generation – or more precisely, wind power. "Windy Cities" – a joint doctoral program of the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (HFT Stuttgart), the University of Stuttgart and the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences – explores the fact large wind turbines must not always be used, but rather that electricity can be generated on the doorstep or on the roof.

Recently, Winfried Kretschmann, Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, highlighted Windy Cities as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Baden-Württemberg's Universities of Applied Ssciences (HAW). Among other things, he spoke of "trust in science" and of the fact that initiatives such as Windy Cities not only generate knowledge, but also make it applicable.

Small wind turbine systems instead of large wind farms

At 200 meters, they are as tall as Stuttgart's TV tower and produce energy for millions of households and industry. We are talking about the more than 29,000 wind turbines in this country (as of 2020). Their electricity production plays a decisive role in the course of the desired energy turnaround. The German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), for example, concludes that the share of electricity fed into the grid by wind power was 29 percent in the 1st half of 2020 and, at around 13 percent, amounted to the highest increase in local electricity generation in this country.

One catch with large, decentralized wind farms is that the electricity generated by these wind turbines often has to be transported and distributed over long power line routes. This is not always efficient – due to inadequate infrastructure and/or for cost reasons. In this context, the question arises: What if wind energy could be used directly on site? Meaning, using small, distributed wind turbine systems in the cities themselves instead of large wind farms with long transmission lines, thus covering part of the energy supply

Decentralized power generation in urban areas

The doctoral program "Windy Cities" is working on this idea. It is investigating the economic use of small wind turbines for local, decentralized power generation in urban areas. In Windy Cities, 12 projects are being worked on that complement each other thematically and are networked with each other.

The interdisciplinary approach includes projects on simulation and visualization, development of new energy storage technologies, testing of prototypes in wind turbines and intelligent load management.

In this context, Minister President Kretschmann referred on the occasion of the HAW speech, among other things, to the spirit of research and creativity at the HAWs and thus also at the HFT Stuttgart. For the initiators of the doctoral program, Prof. Dr. Volker Coors and Prof. Dr. Bernd Plietker, formerly of the University of Stuttgart, now of the TU Dresden, Kretschmann's mention of the initiative is proof of the successful work of Windy Cities.

Further information at: http://windycities.de

Publish date: 27. July 2021 By Andreas Eicher ()