Location: Cologne, Germany

Population: 1,085,664 [city area]

Climate: Oceanic

Duration: 2014-2017

Sector: Cross Cutting

Funding sources: Public

City networks: Covenant of Mayors

Savings: SMEs in the street are saving around 2,216 tons of CO2 per year.

Solutions: Klimastraße offers innovative companies the opportunity to have their new products and services tested in everyday life.

Multiple benefits: Reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

The Klimastraße (i.e. Climate Street) project in the Nippes district of Cologne is one of the projects of the Cologne SmartCity initiative, managed by the municipality, the local energy provider RheinEnergie AG and a network of industry, businesses, and citizens.

Smart technologies are being tested on the climatic road, which should simplify future urban life and at the same time protect the environment. For this purpose, businesses and private individuals were invited to participate in the project.

In the future, new ideas and products will be tested on the Klimastraße in a real environment [source].

Objective – To create a climate-friendly energy management.

Solutions –  The focus of  Klimastraße is to test the following solutions: 1) Optimized air building insulation (roof, facade, windows, etc); 2) Renewable energy (photovoltaic); 3) Storing energy; 4) Innovative use of electricity (LED street lighting, smart meters); 5) Intelligent energy management for the home (smart home for heat, light, electricity, security); 6) Installation of additional measurement technology for better monitoring of power grids; 7) Charging stations for electric mobility (car and pedelec); 8) Use of electric vehicles; 9) Waste management; 10) Sensoring of environmental data and visualization for the public.

Funding – Funded with € 1.7 Mln grants by RheinEnergie AG (of which € 600,000 allocated to the smart meters roll out), the Klimastraße project is an example of a community-embedded demonstrator or test-bed for smart city solutions.

 Innovation – Under Klimastraße project, companies fund their projects as far as possible themselves, promising projects are funded from the RheinEnergie AG project budget. Companies gain additional added value through the exchange of valuable information and innovative ideas with other companies, including at events on Klimastraße [source].

Besides, the Klimastraße project is a pilot on making new technologies part of the everyday life of citizens and small businesses (e.g. shopkeepers) living and operating in the street and the surrounding district. It showcases smart solutions to the public, asking for feedback from the companies responsible for the solutions and policymakers.

Success factors – The City of Cologne (through Klimastraße) has established a successful strategy implying new technologies and long-term changes in behaviours towards most efficient energy consumption patterns. The strategy is based on acknowledge that innovation is only possible when people/businesses are convinced that new technologies also have economic benefits that can improve the economy and human well-being.

Furthermore, policy, regulation and integrated planning play an important role in Klimastraße´s project implementation. These factors are ensured by the important commitment of the local policy-makers and energy providers (the local energy provider RheinEnergie AG steers the initiative).

Significant outcomes:

  • 15 different local companies are saving up to 70% of their energy costs/electricity costs having shifted to LED lighting.
  • Installed LED lighting has generated savings for 64% of the lighting power. The potential environmental impact for all SMEs in the street is saving around 2,216 tons of CO2 per year.
  • It has been estimated that smart home applications in the street, i.e. smart meters, are lowering heating and electricity costs for users by 7%.
  • From end of January 2014, about 55% of energy and about 5 tons of CO2 will be saved due to the installment of LED street lamps along Klimastraße.
  • The lighting in the shops and businesses on Klimastraße is switched on for up to 12 hours on all business days. Therefore, the project asked all owners to take part in a conversion campaign for LED lighting [source].

 Synergies with local policies:

  • KölnKlimaaktiv 2022 pretends to achieve the Cologne climate protection goals, around 3.9 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions must be saved each year, therefore, the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 (compared to 1990).

Political alignment:

  • Climate Action Programme 2030 establishes a price on climate-damaging CO2 emissions, introducing promotion measures and setting legal standards for greater innovation and investment. The focus is to achieve by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by 55% of the 1990 level. The Programme aims to implement the plan in a manner that is both economically sustainable and socially equitable;
  • National Action Plan on Energy Efficiencyincludes 3 main cross-sectoral energy efficiency measures: stepping up energy efficiency in the building sector; establishing energy efficiency as an investment and business model; increasing individual responsibility for energy efficiency;
  • Energy Concept 2050sets goals of 20% energy savings by 2020 (2008 baseline) and 50% energy savings in buildings by 2050 (2008 baseline). The key pillars of the concept are an intensification of the use of renewable energies and reduction of energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency;
  • Climate Action Plan 2050provides guidance to all areas of action in the process to achieve domestic climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement. The ultimate goal is to reach extensive greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050;
  • Federal Climate Change Act ensures that national and European climate protection targets are met. Regarding climate targets, the energy industry is expected to have CO2 equivalent emissions at 175Mt by 2030 (Base year: 2020); emissions from transportation at 95 Mt of CO2-eq by 2030 (Base year: 2020); and emissions from waste to 5 Mt of Co2-eq by 2030 (Base year: 2020) [source].


Klimastraße project demonstratse that, given the present stage of technology development, a climate-friendly energy management is possible.

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Sector: Cross cutting

Country / Region: Germany

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Smart City Cologne