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Built on waste – „energy mountains“ in Karlsruhe and Hamburg

Mai 9, 2011
(c) IBA /

(c) IBA /

Landfills are usually not a welcome sight. Hamburg and Karlsruhe made the best of it and created „energy mountains“. The first step is to seal the old garbage dumps. (the landfill site in Hamburg has a size of 45 ha and a volume of  7 million m³) Inside the mountain degradation processes lead to generation of (greenhouse) gases. The gases are captured and used to generate electicity and heat. That was the first step the cities took.

The next was to build wind power plants on the mountains. The first one in Karlsruhe was installed in 1999. Now 3 power plants with a total capacity of 3.000 kW are in operation. In Hamburg 4 plants with 2.650 kW are currently in use but at least two of them will soon be substituted for bigger plants. The installation of the wind power plants is especially challenging as the plants can not be properly „anchored“ due to the soil they are built on.

The power of the sun is harvested as well: The solar panels in Hamburg provide the city with 400.000 kWh per year. Finally the swath accrueing on the hill is used to produce biogas and flora and fauna is returning to a mountain that actually consists of garbage.

You can find more information on what is going on in Hamburg here:


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