Hello friends, today I am going to tell you about an interesting news about energy self-sufficiency that I’ve found on the BBC.
Wildpoldsried is a small village in Bavaria, southern Germany, with about 2,600 inhabitants mainly dedicated to dairy farming. Nearly two decades ago, this village decided to embark on an experiment to convert all power generation to renewable methods to become self-sufficient.
Over the last 19 years they have invested in a holistic range of energy production projects including wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panels, hydroelectric and biomass systems.
As a result, the village has gone beyond energy independence, producing five times the power it needs and selling the surplus to the national power grid.
The Wildpoldsried phenomenon occurs within the framework of the energy transformation policy in Germany known as Energiewende, energy revolution, to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons and completely abandon nuclear energy.
Renewable energy programs in Germany have gained a lot of momentum in recent years, and the government offers subsidies under the Energy Supply Act.
The case of this village in Bavaria is special. The project started from a citizen initiative, particularly from the farmers who did not want to continue burning diesel, especially for heating.
“We have many farmers who are visionaries and wanted to change outdated systems and replace wind turbines and biomass systems to produce gas,” Susi Vogl, community spokesperson told. One farmer in particular, Wendelin Einsiedler, took the lead with a personal project.
“He built his own biogas generator, put up photovoltaic solar panels and planned and installed the first wind turbine in Wildpoldsried. He did it with his own money,” Vogl explained. Then other citizens, attracted by the idea of looking for alternative sources, began to invest their money in the wind turbine project and started a company.
“The secret of our success is citizen participation,” Susi Vogl said.
“In the beginning, there were 25 residents who invested in the first turbine. For the next turbine there were 50 and, last year, we built another two in which 200 people invested.”
By 2011, the village was producing three times the energy it consumed. Today it generates 500% of what it needs. All of this is supplied to the national electricity grid, which in turn controls and manages energy distribution. The surplus is paid to the small-town investors.
In total, the citizens have invested 40 million euros in the entire project and the return has been 5 million euros a year for the energy that we sell to the power grid. The entire project comprises 11 wind turbines with a capacity of 12 megawatts, five biogas plants, 2,100 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels producing almost 5 megawatts, a biomass district heating network and three small hydroelectric plants.