Re-use chains in water and energy infrastructures in shrinking regions

Status: Project completed
End of project period: 31.5.2013



How can water and energy infrastructure be combined in a way that provision and waste disposal can be guaranteed in rural regions? In which way infrastructure can contribute to regional value added? Which secondary resources such as waste heat, biomass, waste or purified waste water that are still unused are available in the rural area and can be utilised for regional economic purposes?

These questions had to be faced within the research project “Re-use chains in water and energy infrastructures in shrinking regions” – or in brief: “RePro – Rural Resources”. Up to the year 2013 economically sustainable, regional re-use chains were established for two areas: the climate protection region Elbe-Elster and the bio-energy region Wittenberg. Re-use chains aim at intelligent and sustainable use of material and energetic resources.

Facing the rising prices for energy and raw materials, communities and businesses show enhanced interest in the development of the above mentioned material-energetic re-use chains.

Within the project technical, economical, financial and strategic concepts were developed for an effective use of resources and infrastructure. In a next step manageable regional re-use chains were designed. The focus were set on supporting business approaches for optimising material-energetic as well as economic-social re-use in rural regions.      

It was a superior goal to exemplify re-use chains within the model regions in order to prepare a transfer to other shrinking regions. Those re-use chains were sustainably organised and combined with concrete financial options.
The scientifically focal aim was to compile the required technical-economical knowledge, spatial planning and management instruments as well as finance and business models in a transferable tool set.