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Markus Breig © KIT

How can the Fessenheim area become an innovation region after the closure of the nuclear power plant? Eucor – The European Campus and the “Upper Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research” (URCforSR) will develop a feasibility study with concrete investment scenarios. The study promotes the development of holistic ideas. The plan is to turn the Fessenheim site as well as the surrounding Upper Rhine region into a CO2-neutral and highly innovative economic region.

The participating scientists from the Universities of Freiburg, Haute-Alsace and Strasbourg, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Fraunhofer Institutes for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Freiburg) and for Systems and Innovation Research ISI (Karlsruhe) as well as the University Network TriRhenaTech are working closely with German and French industrial partners for the study. This increases the chances of developing concrete investment perspectives for the Fessenheim area.

From battery recycling to hydrogen

Four Franco-German competence groups are working together on the feasibility study. The three competence groups on green batteries and battery recycling (circular economy), intelligent power grids (so-called smart grids) and hydrogen are developing concrete pilot projects that will be located in the Fessenheim area in the future. A fourth group is looking at the social, legal and environmental challenges associated with these pilot projects. On this basis, Eucor – The European Campus and URCforSR are developing a roadmap until end of 2021 for the implementation and financing of the pilot projects.

Funding

A corresponding financing agreement for the study, which is endowed with 800,000 euros, was signed on January 11, 2021 by representatives of the French state, the Région Grand Est, the Federal Republic of Germany, along with the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg.

Backround information

The study is fully in line with the memorandum of understanding on the Fessenheim area project signed on February 1, 2019 by the French and German partners, which aims, among other things, to develop the Fessenheim area into an innovation model for business and the energy revolution.

Furthermore, the study follows the goals in the Treaty on Franco-German Cooperation and Integration, the so-called Treaty of Aachen. In that Treaty, Germany and France agreed on the joint further development of the area around the Fessenheim nuclear power plant on the Franco-German border after its decommissioning in June 2020. They aim to develop joint projects in the field of cross-border mobility, energy revolution and innovation within the framework of a Franco-German economic and innovation park.