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.
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Projects for a successful transition to clean energy
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
A native of Cologne is known by his love of Kölsch (beer), carnival and of course the cathedral. The sight of the two cathedral spires enthrals not just the natives but 6 million visitors from all corners of the world annually, making the Cologne Cathedral the most visited landmark of Germany.
When completed, in 1880, the "High Cathedral of Cologne" was the biggest building in the world. At 157.38 m, the Gothic cathedral is currently Europe’s second-tallest church building. The architecture kept to the mediaeval plans for the most part, despite 600 years of construction. The West face of the cathedral, including the two towers, has a surface area of 7,100 m² making it the largest church facade in the world.
A European masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The reliquary of the remains of The Three Kings inside the Catholic church draws scores of visitors, as does the stained glass in the southern transept window, created by the famous German artist, Gerhard Richter, in 2007.