With its climate plan, Hamburg has set itself some very ambitious goals.

Indeed, by 2030, the city wants to have halved its CO2 emissions compared to 1990. By 2050, it wants to have reduced them by 80 per cent. As a long-standing partner of the city, Vattenfall is at Hamburg’s side in this regard.

In future, heat and electricity need to be generated, stored and consumed more intelligently. This calls for a clever, inter-sector energy system. Vattenfall has already launched numerous projects to this end, and implemented individualised supply solutions for customers and residential areas.

Find out more about Vattenfall’s efforts in relation to sustainable urban development.

Battery projects

CO2-free electricity from the wind and sun is not always available. To ensure that we can adapt wind and solar-generated energy to meet demand, we need electricity storage options.

A second life for batteries

With “Second Life”- a cooperative project between BMW Group and Vattenfall, Vattenfall is developing and testing means of recycling electric vehicle batteries to use them for storing electricity generated by wind and solar power. Vattenfall have implemented a similar project together with BMW and Bosch in the port of Hamburg. Here, used batteries from electric vehicles were interconnected and transformed into an electricity accumulator.


battery modules

from more than


electric vehicles

Battery power stabilising the power grid

This storage facility, comprising 2,600 battery modules from more than 100 electric vehicles, has a storage capacity of 2,800 kilowatt hours (kWh). The stored energy is marketed by Vattenfall on the primary regulation energy market, and contributes to keeping the power grid stable and avoiding network congestion. This is essential in order not to have to switch off wind farms in northern Germany even when there is high wind, but rather to then use all of that wind energy to produce climate-friendly power.

BMW power for Alexia

To implement further larger-scale storage projects, Vattenfall and BMW Group have entered into a contract for the supply of 1,000 BMW batteries. The new lithium-ion batteries each have a capacity of 33 kWh and, with a BMW battery management system, do not require modification for use in the Vattenfall project. The first accumulator made of these batteries has been built at the Princess Alexia wind farm close to Amsterdam.

Windpark Curslack running at full tilt

Together with its partners HAW and Nordex, Vattenfall is developing a storage power plant out of lithium ion batteries at Windpark Curslack. Among other things, the facility is being used to test out how combining wind farms and batteries can optimise the facility’s electricity delivery, and how this can be adjusted to requirements.
In doing so, Vattenfall is making an important contribution towards alleviating the burden on power grids in northern Germany, and bringing climate-friendly power supply another step forwards.

The changing energy landscape in northern Germany

At the site of a future wind farm in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) and the company Nordex have constructed a so-called control power plant using batteries. The purpose of the system, which is part of the project Norddeutsche Energiewende NEW 4.0, is to secure energy supplies at such a time when energy is generated exclusively from renewable energies. The accumulator will also facilitate the more efficient use of the existing grid structure.



Home Energy Management

An intelligent energy system for the home

A pioneering pilot project

Vattenfall is conducting a pilot project on home energy management in Berlin and Hamburg. In collaboration with the Korean electronics corporation LG, Vattenfall is working on a project to enable people access the consumption data relating to their own home-based power generation and storage systems.

An app for a better overview

The focus of the project is on the intelligent, comfortable use of self-generated electricity from PV systems. Owners of photovoltaic systems will be able to monitor their own generation and consumption. They will also be informed about the best times to store, sell and use their electricity.



An energy cellar in Ottensen

On the corner of Bahrenfelder Straße and Zeißstraße in Hamburg’s Ottensen quarter, Vattenfall has fitted a residential and office building with an innovative energy cellar equipped with cutting-edge technology.

Photograph: Markus Altmann

The energy cellar takes care of everything

The new cellar features a combination of boiler, cogeneration unit, heat pump and electric heating cartridge, and it is the interplay between the individual components that makes the energy cellar so special. The heat pump is controlled by the ambient air. That is to say, it only operates when the cogeneration unit or other components produce waste heat and the cogeneration unit supplies electricity. In this way, the residual energy can be optimally exploited and recycled.

Energy cellar components: Two drinking water containers with different temperature levels

Oskar, the heat manager

The cellar is also equipped with power-to-heat technology, through which electricity is converted into heat. An inbuilt Oskar stratified tank facilitates optimum heat management. Two drinking water containers with different temperature levels for decoupled drinking water treatment. While one container supplies hot water for commercial customers, the other supplies the neighbouring residential spaces. This considerably reduces storage losses and generation costs.



Decentralised energy supply

New residential development at Tarpenbeker Ufer

Heat generated at home

At Tarpenbeker Ufer, between Eppendorf and Niendorf, Otto Wulff Unternehmensgruppe is constructing 750 apartments on ten residential construction sites to be completed by 2022. Some of these will be publicly subsidised rental apartments, some privately financed rental apartments, and some owner-occupied apartments. The complex is also to include a daycare facility for children. Vattenfall will be responsible for heating the complex in future.



with a total of 3,400 kW connected load

One cogeneration unit per construction site

From mid-2018, the residential development’s heat supply will come from by ten cogeneration units, which will be backed up by gas condensing boilers on very cold days. Every construction site will have its own cogeneration unit. The units will be installed separately for each construction site. The size of the units will depend on the size of the buildings They will have a connected load of between 160 kW and 400 kW. The connected load for the entire complex will amount to 3,400 kW.

Structure of a cogeneration unit



Solar thermal energy

Generating heat based on solar energy in the HafenCity quarter

On Hamburg’s rooftops

In Hamburg’s Kaiserkai area, solar energy is being used to create heat. 1,800 square metres of collector surface on HafenCity rooftops generate warm water and, being fuel-free, emit no CO2 whatsoever.

This solar thermal system is the largest of its kind in Hamburg, and covers 40 per cent of its host buildings’ warm water needs.

How a thermal solar power plant works

The solar collectors contain either a special carrier fluid (mix of water and antifreeze) or air. The fluid or air is heated by the sun’s rays and then conducted into a warm water accumulator by means of a circulation pump. The carrier fluid or air then releases its heat into the drinking water in the accumulator via a heat exchanger, and is then conducted back to the collector in a cooled down state.

Perfect unison

If the sun is not shining, or is too weak, the accumulator is heated by a second heating coil powered by an alternative energy source. In the case of the HafenCity, this source is environmentally friendly district heating. Solar thermal plants can be combined with other heating devices. The pellet boiler is an especially popular combination device due to its CO2 neutrality. Pellet boilers generate their heat based on prefabricated wood pellets.



Hydrogen station

The HafenCity hydrogen station provides fuel to the fleet of modern HVV (Hamburg public transport company) buses. These buses are among the ways Vattenfall is contributing toward achieving Hamburg’s climate objectives.

Steam as opposed to CO2

The buses emit only steam and no CO2. Launched in 2012, the station is one of Europe's largest and most efficient hydrogen stations. It has the capacity to supply around 20 public transport buses and a number of cars per day. Because the fuel is gaseous and the refuelling process performed under high pressure, it only takes three minutes to refuel a tank.

On of the world’s first hydrogen stations

The HafenCity hydrogen station is among the first in the world to offer this refuelling process. The electricity to generate the hydrogen derives exclusively from renewable energy sources. The system therefore serves as a renewable energy store that effectively connects the electricity and mobility sectors.



“HafenCity is a globally respected urban development project with many innovative concepts and ideas, right on the waterfront in the heart of Hamburg. Just like this neighborhood, we are also actively changing and developing as a company. With our strategic orientation to enable our customers, partners, and employees to live a life without fossil fuels within one generation, we are setting a clear example of the company’s transformation. So the next logical step is to do the same with our new office location, in the inspiring environment of the Elbbrückenquartier (Elbe Bridge Quarter).”

Tuomo Hatakka

A Clear Statement on the Hamburg Location

That’s how Tuomo Hatakka, the CEO of Vattenfall Germany, sees it. In the future, the new Hamburg office will house 1,200 employees, merged from the previous Hamburg locations at Überseering and Dammtorstrasse. By consolidating and thereby reducing space, costs will be saved and time-related potential will be put to better use, as the specialist expertise of all of Vattenfall Hamburg will now be conglomerated in one place.

EDGE Technologies for Innovative Building Design

Vattenfall is changing. The company strives to achieve the goal of being free of fossil fuels within one generation. This objective is governed by the provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement and is already being implemented in many places by use of renewable energies and new technologies. But Vattenfall also wants to act from within to ensure this change, which is why the new building is being implemented by EDGE Technologies – a company that specializes in buildings that are sustainable, ecological, and promote health.

The building in the Elbbrückenquartier will be 15 stories high in total: nine tower floors on a six-story building base. Of the almost 22,000 square meters of floor space, Vattenfall has rented the majority (approximately 17,500 square meters). The ground floor will be an open-plan area that is also open to the public.

39 %

of CO2 emissions are still coming from buildings

We need more sustainable buildings.

Achieving a Sustainable Future with Hybrid Buildings

EDGE is renowned as a developer of intelligent and sustainable buildings and is therefore the right partner for Vattenfall. The company is establishing its new branches at two locations in total: at Berlin’s Südkreuz and in Hamburg’s HafenCity. The latter is famous as a district for visionaries – a neighborhood where Vattenfall fits in effortlessly.

The innovative wood-hybrid construction method reduces the proportion of reinforced concrete in the building. This alone can save up to 80% of CO2 emissions during construction. Emissions are also kept low throughout the life cycle of the building. In addition, the building materials are almost completely recyclable.


Construction start:10/02/2019
Completion: End of 2022
Occupation: 2023
Land: 21,800 sqm of usable space
Address: South side of Amerigo-Vespucci-Platz, Elbbrückenquartier HafenCity, Germany

Digitalization for Intelligent Building Use

More than 1,800 sensors inside the building will collect and analyze future data – primarily, they will measure air quality and energy consumption for intelligent and optimized control of the building during operation. Energy from renewable sources and photovoltaic systems also reduce the ecological footprint.

The new location is also well positioned in the field of e-mobility: a comprehensive infrastructure with charging stations enables easy charging of the fleet vehicles.