Several German villages are 100% supplied by renewables

27/11/2017 16:52 Renewable


Local communities are very close for the green power transition in Germany, with some villages using 100% renewable energy. 

Neuerkirch and Külz are two small villages in Western Germany with 300 and 500 inhabitants respectively. These locations put an end to their old fossil fuel heating system switching to 100% clean energy heating system. A biomass site offers 75% of the energy and a solar thermal plant supplies the rest. Only a few homes are not linked to the central system.

A few years ago, the municipality of Mastershausen invested €64 million in renewables. Investors constructed 14 wind turbines for €50 million and a couple of solar power sites for €11 million. The cost of the new grid connections was estimated at €3 million. The town signed 25-year contracts, and now earns at least €260,000 per year for the land lease. The income can go up to €350,000 based on how strong the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.

Mastershausen used the profits to finance the building of a fast Internet network, roads, playgrounds and a library. The town hall offers money to families with newborns. And it supports, of course, the local energy transition through subventions for house insulation and public transport. 

The energy transition would not have been possible without the feed-in tariffs that operators obtain when selling green electricity to the regional grid. But on the other hand, the wind turbines generate much more energy than the village requirements. With gridlock sources, it might be completely self-sufficient.

A few German localities even possess their clean power plants. Wolfhagen owns a 10MW photovoltaic power plant, the biggest in the Bundesland, and a 12MW wind farm, as well as hydropower. The city is situated in the bordering federal state of Hesse.  

Wolfhagen has been 100% based on renewable sources since 2014. The town is linked to the regional grid, which provided the majority of 13,500 people, and offers the weather-reliant renewables. The town is a net exporter of power on a yearly basis.

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