The energy sector in NRW
  2. Industries in NRW
  3. Energy

The energy sector in NRW

North Rhine-Westphalia is Europe's most important energy region. The state is home to international power utilities, energy-intensive manufacturing companies, power plant producers, as well as a large number of developers, providers and users of energy technology and services. Some 120 institutes at more than 30 universities as well as about 20 non-university research organizations conduct energy-related teaching and research, with special emphasis on increasing energy efficiency and exploiting the potential of renewables. NRW is among the international front-runners with regard to the development, testing and commercialization of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Did you know ...

… that NRW supplies nearly one third of Germany's total electric power requirements?
... that Bayer MaterialScience transforms waste carbon dioxide into high-quality plastics at its plant in NRW?
… that NRW is in the process of creating 100 climate-friendly housing projects?

Quick Facts


Around 26,000 employees are working on the development and utilization of renewable energy technologies in 3,600 companies, generating total sales of more than 6.6 billion euros.


work places
With more work places in the maintenance area and in the operation of renewable energies, the total number rises to more than 50,000.

Projects for a successful transition to clean energy

Energy technology in NRW

Energy efficiency is high up on the research agenda in North Rhine-Westphalia. For instance, the Helmholtz Institute for Ionics in Energy Storage in Münster is addressing a key issue: how to store electric power in large quantities over long periods within compact dimensions. The institute has decided to concentrate its efforts on electrolytes, the most important component of any battery. North Rhine-Westphalia is also conducting research into smart electric power utilization. For example, the utility company RWE is involved in various projects centering on smart grids, smart meters and integrated home automation.

Energy enterprises in NRW

Two of the world's largest utility companies are headquartered in North Rhine-Westphalia: E.ON in Düsseldorf and RWE in Essen. The state is also home to numerous enterprises in the renewable energy sector:


E.ON Westfalen Weser: Harnessing energy from ground water

Category Energy industry

Region Ostwestfalen-Lippe

Paderborn in East Westphalia-Lippe is also called the City of Springs. 200 underground springs feed the river Pader, drawing the early settlers and to this day providing a rich supply of groundwater. But that’s not all. Regional power supplier E.ON Westfalen Weser is now working with the city of Paderborn to make use of an innovative form of energy. Groundwater is being used in Paderborn city centre for the eco-friendly cooling and heating of a current total of 15 building complexes. Depending on the time of the year, the temperature of the water ranges between 9 and 13 degrees, making its way to the surface by the springs. Special pumps extract warmth from the water in winter, with the energy they harness being used to heat the buildings. In summer, groundwater is put to use to for cooling them. The hydrogeological conditions intrinsic to Paderborn - an abundance of shallow subsurface groundwater and constant temperature - form the basis for this project.


Economic Development Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

Völklinger Str. 4
40219 Düsseldorf

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Germany’s No. 1 Economic Region

The excellent infrastructure, the central location and the high qualifications of the people make North Rhine-Westphalia an economic power of international standing. In terms of numerous economic statistics, NRW is world class.


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