RheinEnergie AG is the regional service company for energy and drinking water in Cologne and the Rhineland region around Cologne. The company can look back over 140 years of history; it came into being in its current form in 2002 from the GEW Köln AG and RGW AG. Today, 80 percent of the company is owned by the City of Cologne, with the remaining 20 percent held by RWE Deutschland AG. Together with their partners, RheinEnergie AG takes responsibility for around 2.5 million people, for industry, commerce and trade. With around 3,000 employees working around the clock, the company supplies their customers with electricity, natural gas, drinking water and district heating. RheinEnergie AG provides many services: energy trading, energy consultancy and contracting for both large and small customers and is represented in the market across the whole of Germany.
The environment and climate protection are a special concern of RheinEnergie AG. The company is one of the largest municipal owners of wind turbines in Germany and currently has 19 wind parks in operation, with an output of around 101 megawatts. In addition, RheinEnergie AG is also involved in the Andasol 3 solar power station in Spain. This ultra-modern plant generates electricity through solar heat.
A core project within RheinEnergie is district heating, which started in 1962 with a first combined heat and power plant (CHP). Nowadays, 2,060 GWh heat are generated from CHP (incl. heat for industrial purposes), saving 280 ktCO2 p.a. in comparison to separate production. The district heating grid is more than 280 km long and supplies 8,900 houses with a share of 80% of households served. Within this, the main role of RheinEnergie is to realise and manage the installations. Its role as an industrial partner is to institutionalise and adapt the gained knowledge from this pilot project to the organisation of RheinEnergie. This includes close co-operations with other parties involved, some of them industrial corporations themselves. RheinEnergie aims at developing this technology into a mature, standardised and market-ready heating solution. Furthermore, it aims at integrating this solution into its portfolio of already existing environment friendly and energy efficient solutions (e.g. geo and solar thermal energy, wood pellets, photovoltaic).