After three years of restoration work, a former WW2 air raid bunker in Hamburg, Germany has been transformed into a renewable energy power plant. The newly opened Hamburg Energy Bunker will provide the 50,000 residents of the Wilhelmsburg quarter with carbon-neutral electricity by 2025 and climate-friendly heating by 2050. It will meet heating requirements of around 3,000 households and the electricity needs of around 1,000 homes, cutting carbon emissions by 95 per cent, or around 6,600 tons per year.
Photo by Johannes Arlt
The bunker’s turbulent history dates back to 1943, when it was constructed as a shelter for some 30,000 Hamburg residents during the war. In 1947 the British tried to demolish it but managed only to partially compromise its structural integrity. Last year city officials approved the beginning of restoration works on the 130-foot-tall structure, and now the once derelict eyesore will function as a monument and renewable energy power plant.
The massive building will use a combination of solar energy, biogas, wood chips, and waste heat from a nearby industrial plant to supply most of the Reiherstieg district with heat and will feed renewable power into the electricity grid. According to predictions, it will generate approximately 22,500 megawatt hours of heat and almost 3,000 megawatt hours of electricity.
Part of the 2013 International Building Exhibition Hamburg (IBA), the Energy Bunker will feature a permanent exhibition with a focus on its history and the former residents of the Reiherstieg district. Visitors can grab a drink at a café located on the rooftop and enjoy stunning views of the city from the viewing platform.