11th June 2024: Project successfully launched

ResNRJwater launch conference took place in Essen and Bottrop, Germany

Find here some impressions of the launch conference

On 11th June 2024, European energy and water experts met to launch the 4-years cooperation ResNRJwater: The project is dedicated to “Resilient energy supply for and from water and wastewater infrastructures in North-West Europe”. Hosted by the German waterboard Lippeverband, the conference highlighted the project’s approach. Meeting up close to the headquarter of the waterboards Emschergenossenschaft and Lippeverband participants from Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Ireland and Switzerland discussed the options of sustainable energy transformation driven by the water and wastewater sector.

 “How do we meet the challenges of making our energy supply resilient for the future? How do we deal with possible blackout scenarios, particularly in the field of critical infrastructures?” With this question Prof. Dr. Uli Paetzel, CEO of the Lippeverband started the conference’s discussion. 

Katrin Prüfig, moderator and media trainer, guided through the conference lively and elicited interesting statements from the speakers. ResNRJwater is not a stand-alone-project about renewable energy: it builds on existing initiatives in the involved regions and will hopefully feed into soon. The programme "energy 2027" of the Emscher-Lippe-Region, linear photovoltaics of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhone, riothermia in the Flemish region (stands for aquathermia), and self-energy generation at a Swiss wastewater treatment were presented as promising examples. 

Ilka Meisel from the North-Rhine Westphalian ministry for economy, industry, climate protection and energy presented the claims and hopes from the Interreg NWE programme towards the ResNRJwater project. Spurred on by this selected experts detailed in a panel discussion how the water and wastewater sector can increase the resilient energy supply in North-West Europe (from left to right - moderator in red in the middle): Christelle Humski/Territoire d’énergie Loire-Atlantique (online), Amandine Leroux/ELIA Transmission Belgium, Annika Kleinschmidt/German water and energy association BDEW, Phil James/Galway Energy Cooperative and Brian Murphy/EurEau.  

Graphic recording

Thanks to Marie Jacobi, visualrecording, you can explore here the main issues of the given contributions:

Site visit to Emschergenossenschaft's wwtp Bottrop

The afternoon excursion led the participants to one of the first largely energy-autonomous large-scale treatment plant: the Emschergenossenschaft’s wastewater treatment plant in Bottrop. Its advanced model of heat and power flow management rely on the optimal combination of distinct uses and sources of as much as possible renewable energy. In a late working session the partners presented their investments. You can explore here what will be built within ResNRJwater: 


The next day, 12th June 2024, was dedicated to project work, which brings the partners together now until 2028. By project end, waterboards and municipalities in the areas DE/Ruhr, BE/Flanders, NL/North-Holland and FR/Loire-Atlantique can adopt a strategy to turn the water and wastewater infrastructures into energy hubs for urban and rural regions. Based on 7 pilots, they can uptake validated technologies to facilitate the use of renewable energy sources in the water and wastewater sector, a smart energy management and storage system for a decentralised and resilient energy supply, and a concept for consumption of energy-surplus.

Picture gallery

You will find Marie-Edith Ploteau, lead of the ResNRJwater project, Arthur Guischet from the European Water Association, Ilka Meisel, MWIKE NRW and German contact of the Interreg NWE programme, Jens Geier, member of European Parliament meeting Frank Obenaus, CTO Emschergenossenschaft and Lippeverband, Mattias Verbeke, corporate innovation expert from Aquafin, graphic recording in progress, the panelists having an encouraging discussion and finally the ResNRJwater partnership. 

See on the top picture speakers of the conference meeting the partner representatives from Lippeverband (DE), Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier (NL), Territoire d’énergie Loire-Atlantique (FR), Aquafin NV (BE), Emschergenossenschaft (DE), SEM EnR44 (FR), BETREM GmbH (DE), InfraWatt (CH) and University of Galway (online) (IE).