Results and Announcement of the New Funding

At the 25th of August in 2016 the announcement of the new funding to continue the feasibility analysis was presented by minister Remmel. The results of the first project phase are summarized in the document "Development of a Realization Concept for the Utilization of Facilities of Coal Mining as an underground Pumped-Storage Power Plant". The report can be downloaded here.



Press Reviews


10.07.2017 - Conference: Pumps storage pants and their integration into the energy policy. Flyer.

  25.05.2017 - The Wall Street Journal: Coal Mines Are Reimagined as a New Power Source

04.07.2017 - The Underfloor Pumps Storage in the Annual Report "Innovation through Research" 2016 of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. Download.

  29.03.2017 - Connaissance des energies: Une mine de charbon allemande bientôt reconvertie en site de stockage?

28.06.2017 - On the 28th and 29th of June the 9th Brachentag Windenergie NRW takes place in Düsseldorf. More Information

  27.03.2017 - Arstechnica: German coal mine may be prime for pumped storage

25.08.2016 - Presentation of the results of the first project stage and announcement of the new funding

  25.02.2017: Badische Zeitung: Energie statt Kohle

14.07.2015 The state chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia informs about the status of the project during a visitation of the mines

  24.11.2016 - Welt Online: Wenn das Bergwerk zum Stausee wird

18th & 19th of June 2015 Bergbauforum 2015 in Kassel

  05.10.2016 - Neue Energie: Kohlezeche als Grünspeicher

11.05.2015 - Lecture series of the VDE-University Group of the TU Ilmenau - Current challenges of electrical engineering

  01.09.2016 - Rheinische Post: Grüner Strom aus dem Pütt

The results of the representative population survey about the Energiewende and underground pumped storage plants conducted by the Rhine Ruhr Institute for Social Research and Political Consultancy (Rhein-Ruhr-Institut für Sozialforschung und Politikberatung e.V.; RISP) has been published in October 2013. The entire report can be found here.

Recently the booklet 40 "Untertage-Pumpspeicherwerke in den Anlagen des Berg- und Tagebaus" of the series "Report Geotechnik" has been published. The content is the results of a previous study which has been sponsored by the Stiftung Mercator. Further information can be found here.

The challenge


As electricity production from solar panels and wind turbines continues to grow, energy needs to be stored temporarily for use during periods of high demand. To do this, coastal countries will build a major electricity grid in the North Sea in the coming years, through which it will be possible to drive pumps with a temporary excess of alternatively generated energy to fill elevated pumped storage reservoirs in Norway. The electricity from these pumped storage plants will then be used to meet peaks in demand as and when they occur. Such pumped storage facilities are best built where there are sufficient height differences over a short horizontal distance. However, problems are often encountered here with the amount of land used for the high-lying basins and the distance to the possible electricity consumers.

The answer


Pumped storage plants located close to both the consumer and to where energy is generated from wind and photovoltaic systems are a genuine alternative. In regions such as the Rhineland or the Ruhr area, the lack of relief in the landscape does not provide the necessary height differences. This is where the former coal mines come in.The aim of this project is to find out whether and at what point such mines can be converted in a technically and economically feasible way for energy storage when mining ceases in 2018. A legal and ecological evaluation of the future perspectives of such a concept is also to be carried out. The project specifically relates to two remaining active RAG mines and associated operations: Prosper Haniel in Bottrop and Auguste Victoria in Marl. Read more...

Five powerful partners – from the region for the region.

The project partners are interdisciplinary research teams from the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and Ruhr University Bochum (RUB), experts from RAG Deutsche Steinkohle, DMT, and the Rhine-Ruhr Institute for Social Research and Policy Consulting (RISP) at the UDE.

DMT logo

Die DMT GmbH & Co. KG is an international, independent engineering and consulting company with the main focus in the area of resource exploration, mining and coking.

RAG logo

RAG Deutsche Steinkohle covers the activities of mining hard coal in the Ruhr area and the Saarland.

Located in the dynamic, hospitable metropolregion Ruhrgebiet in the center of Europe, is the Ruhr-University with its 20 faculties, 5.000 employees and about 36.500 students from 130 countries.

RISP logo

The Rhein-Ruhr-Institute focuses its activities and competences on the applied research.

UDE logo

The University Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is one of the ten largest universities of Germany and offers a wide and international disciplinary spectrum.

Logo Bund, NRW

The supervising authorities are the district government Arnsberg, the project promoter ETN and the project promoter Jülich.