ZO.RRO concludes successful concept phase

At the final conference, the ZO.RRO project presented results, experiences and further approaches to industry-based solutions for a CO2-free energy supply based on the example of Thuringia.

The research project ZO.RRO (Zero Carbon Cross Energy System) hosted its final event on May 23, 2022, welcoming about 100 guests from business, science and politics at the Zentralheize Erfurt as well as virtually via live stream. The event opened with a welcome speech by project leader Westermann from the Technische Universität Ilmenau, followed by the premiere screening of the ZO.RRO documentary film , which showcased the project results in multimedia format. Likewise, Anja Siegesmund, Thuringian Minister for Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation, and Dr. Wolfgang Langen, representing the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, also gave a welcoming speech and emphasized the relevance of research projects such as ZO.RRO regarding the energy turnaround in Thuringia and the entire Federal Republic.

With regard to the current situation, ZO.RRO, through its influence on the self-energy supply of companies and the grid stability in Thuringia, fell particularly into the current zeitgeist. This was further underlined by the approval of two million euros in funding for the second phase of the state project by the Free State of Thuringia. Dr. Panagiotis Stathopoulos from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) introduced the topic with his keynote speech on industrial decarbonization. Among other things, the participants were given an outlook on current research work on high-temperature heat pumps and their possible applications in industrial processes.

Complex insights into the results of the ZO.RRO project followed in presentations by the consortium partners. Through system modeling, scientifically based transformation paths were shown on how the energy and climate goals of Thuringia can be achieved. With the developed energy transition calculator , an open source tool was created, which is now available to other actors, such as municipalities, public utilities and companies, etc., for calculating paths to climate neutrality. A rapid expansion of renewable energies is crucial here. But also the industry can make an important contribution. By applying storage capacities as well as flexible modes of operation, the system stability can be increased and at the same time an economic benefit for companies can be generated. ZO.RRO has designed low-threshold and scalable solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The implementation of eight demonstrators as lighthouse projects will now follow in phase II of the state project.

In the accompanying trade exhibition, the researchers and participants came into contact with industry representatives. The Fraunhofer Institute IOSB-AST, which is involved in the project, took the opportunity to present the developed CO2 monitoring tool in a live demonstration. We thank all guests, speakers, exhibitors and helping hands behind the scenes for the successful event.