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Michael Kappen: Baking in Büppel is Still Real Handcraft

Frank Glanert
Frank Glanert

At four in the morning, "Kappo" is really busy - long before the first customers want to buy fresh rolls in the shop. We are standing in the bakery and Michael Kappen is swirling around with his colleague.
Every movement has been performed more than a thousand times. Always here at this point. Michael has been running the small bakery in the Varel district of Büppel for more than 35 years. In his early twenties, he took over the business from his father. What he is doing every day here, is rare nowadays. Baking has predominantly become an industrial process. Bakeries with their own bakeries like Michael's are few in number.
And he knows his business, which is located directly in front of his private home, like the back of his hand. He can quickly write his "energy management" on a piece of paper. The oversized kneading machine is just as much a large consumer of electricity as the cold store. 

Of course, he does not know when exactly his utilities actually consume electricity. However, he finds the idea that the electricity for his baking business comes from regionally produced, regenerative plants extremely exciting. "But that must also pay off financially," says Kappen. He is not an energy expert, but of course electricity is a cost factor. In this respect, he understands how to coordinate consumption and generation with the help of digital meters. And also that the networks can be operated more efficiently as a result. Either way, it's far from baking. More interesting is the question whether this would make electricity much more expensive or cheaper in the long term; or whether it would cost nothing at all. Practical questions from the operational point of view of a baker who is still baking himself.

How and why are bakeries like the Bakery Kappen integrated?

The enera project aims to integrate large and small consumers into the energy supply network of the future. All companies and private households that consume more than 10,000 kWh of electricity per year are expected to be equipped with an intelligent meter as of 2018 due to a current legislation - later also those which lie between 6,000 and 10,000 kWh (most private households consume significantly less). What they all have in common is that they should also benefit from the new technology themselves. Companies with comparatively higher consumption, of course, also have greater potential for savings. The keyword here is transparency: knowing when, why, which consumer in the company consumes electricity is a first step towards optimisation. 

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