Gallery: German Village Produces 321% More Energy Than It Needs!

 
Mayor Zengerle has gone to Romania, Berlin and the Black Sea Region to speak about how these places can transform their communities and make money in the process. Speaking to Biocycle, Mayor Zengerle said, "The mitigation of climate change in practice can only be implemented with the citizens and with the Village Council behind them 100 percent of the way. This model cannot be forced from only one side. We often spend a lot of time talking to our visitors about how to motivate the village council (and Mayor) to start thinking differently. We show them a best practices model in motion and many see the benefits immediately. From the tour we give, our guests understand how well things can operate when you have the enthusiasm and conviction of the people.”

It’s no surprise that the country that has kicked butt at the Solar Decathlon competition (to produce energy positive solar houses) year after year is the home to such a productive energy-efficient village. The village’s green initiative first started in 1997 when the village council decided that it should build new industries, keep initiatives local, bring in new revenue, and create no debt. Over the past 14 years, the community has equipped nine new community buildings with solar panels, built four biogas digesters (with a fifth in construction now) and installed seven windmills with two more on the way. In the village itself, 190 private households have solar panels while the district also benefits from three small hydro power plants, ecological flood control, and a natural waste water system.

All of these green systems means that despite only having a population of 2,600, Wildpoldsried produces 321 percent more energy than it needs – and it’s generating 4.0 million Euro (US $5.7 million) in annual revenue by selling it back to the national grid. It is no surprise to learn that small businesses have developed in the village specifically to provide services to the renewable energy installations.

Over the years the village’s green goals have been so successful that they have even crafted a mission statement — WIR–2020, Wildpoldsried Innovativ Richtungsweisend (Wildpoldsried Innovative Trend-setting). The village council hopes that it will inspire citizens to do their part for the environment and create green jobs and businesses for the local area.

As a result of the village’s success, Wildpoldsried has received numerous national and international awards for its conservation and renewable energy initiatives known as Klimaschutz (climate protection). The council even hosts tours for other village councils on how to start their own Klimaschutz program. The Mayor has even been doing global tours ever since the Fukushima disaster.

Mayor Zengerle has gone to Romania, Berlin and the Black Sea Region to speak about how these places can transform their communities and make money in the process. Speaking to Biocycle, Mayor Zengerle said, “The mitigation of climate change in practice can only be implemented with the citizens and with the Village Council behind them 100 percent of the way. This model cannot be forced from only one side. We often spend a lot of time talking to our visitors about how to motivate the village council (and Mayor) to start thinking differently. We show them a best practices model in motion and many see the benefits immediately. From the tour we give, our guests understand how well things can operate when you have the enthusiasm and conviction of the people.”

Via BioCycle

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44 Comments

  1. Eclipse Now Eclipse Now September 4, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Sorry, but I’m sceptical that this can be scaled up.
    1. Does the village sell the grid *baseload* reliable power? Or does it just sell excess wind when it’s blowing? This makes *all* the difference. If they are just selling excess power when the wind is blowing, then they’re making money off something that cannot be scaled up nation wide. They’re relying on the fact that there’s an increasingly coal fired nation out there that can quickly ramp up coal power when the wind dies off as it always does.
    2. Not only would any nation that tried to go 100% wind and solar go bankrupt from the backup costs, they’d soon find that the ERoEI of the entire system collapses down to very limiting energy returns. For instance, the ERoEI of Solar PV + backup is a net energy SINK! That is, it’s just fossil fuels in disguise. A modern society at a miniumum requires an ERoEI of 12. The highest renewable + storage ERoEI is solar thermal at 9.
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/

  2. Christopher Keene August 13, 2014 at 11:27 am

    It’s definitely important to get the council on side

  3. Majella McCarron November 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Fantastic work. I admire what you have achieved.

  4. Richard van der Poort July 13, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    This is great, but in order to avoid … ;) ….. -> “Wildpoldsried Innovativ Richtungsweisend” should be translated as “Wildpoldsried Innovativ Wayshowing”.
    If that word is unusual, maybe it should be promoted.
    Keep up the good work!

  5. Pranay Upadhyay November 13, 2012 at 4:58 am

    ..It’s Interesting…In Middle East, Oman market is in boom …..and we company as a supplier to the country looking for source from Europe & USA. Please let me know if someone from Germany is interested in supplying Solar Panels in Oman. Send proposal at p-upadhyay@mustafasultan.com

  6. kent Doering May 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

    As an ex-pat U.S. citizen residing in Germany who has made a pilgrimage to Wildpoldsried, I know the system works. I also know how of Germany is going “Wildpoldsried” plus.

    Our economy is booming thanks to sustainability. And, the Wildpoldsrieder villagers are not pot smoking hippie tree huggers that most North Americans think off when considering
    green energy. (Fox News propaganda.) For the most part, they
    are conservative Catholics farmers and small business people with a good sense of conserving life for future generations.
    (Orbis Domini- the Earth is the Lord`s) They are small farmers who could stay on the land thanks to things like EEC and German milk subsidies, grain subsidies and other things. (As opposed to US style agra-business driving non-subsidized farmers off the land.)
    Currently, 3000 farms already use bio-waste gas installations in Germany. The goal for 2025, is all 200.000 farms here with bio-waste CHP, solar voltaic, and community wind- co-ops. It pays off doubly. First in slashing the costs of fossil fuel powered electricity from the grid, and secondly, in selling back to the regional provider to sell on.

    Wildpoldsried is only a part of German sustainabily, but an another important cog in getting off both nuclear and fossil fuels.

    Kent Doering, Munich

  7. Grace McCaughey February 25, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Tom et al. The world still depends on fossils fuels because of ignoreance of nthe fcats of basic life- eg. 1. solar energy is the ONLY energy source on the planet; 2. there is enough solar energy every day to keep the whole planet oging for a year. 3. The simplest and cheapest way to use solar energy is by DIRECT solar cooking, DIRECT solar smelting, DIRECT solar roasting of coffee and nuts. 3. The second best way to use this huge energy source is by PV panels which cost money plus the cost of the inverter.
    Until every house built has an inbuilt solar cooker, we will not reach our aims of combatting climate change. This is where kobs will be created-in making solar cookers especially from recycled materials like old fridges, washing machines and dishwashers. Just check out http://www.solarcooking.org or http://www.sizzlingsolarcookers.com

  8. Tom Livanos. February 3, 2012 at 7:39 am

    @thinkingofsolar: if my ‘interested layperson’ understanding is correct, it is the inverter which is the most significant limiting factor in any system. German made SMA inverters are considered to be the best in the world. If you visit 2-3 different solar panel supply retailers, you would get a great feel for which panels are most appropriate – and also available – to you where you are. Failing that, call the Alternative Technology Association in Melbourne. They are funded entirely by members, have been around since 1980 and, from personal experience, have as good a handle on the market as anyone. The Clean Energy Council may also help.

    @solaristheway: I agree with your username. I have only been in the United States of America as a tourist for one week in 2003 so it is fair to write that this comment is one of an outsider. If my understanding is correct, Barack Obama was and is more likely to move the United States of America away from dependence on fossil fuels than John McCain would have been had he been elected president. So too with Al Gore in contrast to George W. Bush. Barack Obama and Al Gore both belong to the Democrats Party where-as John McCain and George W. Bush both belong to the Republican Party. That is *not* the reason why I write my assessment. I write my assessment based on conversations I have had with locals in the United States of America and from the general news I have received over the years.

    cbmfj: if my assessment is correct, your username is 100% undecipherable. Unless you correct me here, I will take it that you do not have the basic level of fortitude required to back your comment with even the most basic level of personal identification. Since you invite (perhaps insist?) people to trust you, I ask: would you trust someone who wrote under such a username? I’m not going to “hide” behind this point though. I want to address your costs question directly. I can do no more than ask you to reserve judgment until you have read to the end.

    First, background. When the first coal-fired power stations were being built, costs were astonishingly high – far higher in relative financial terms than what solar power is even today. I use the word ‘even’ because far less has been invested by government in research and development towards solar than what was invested in the early days of coal-fired power. To this day, tax codes around most of the developed world subsidise coal fired power by allowing mining companies to artificially accelerate the depreciation which is then entered as a deduction on their tax return. My qualifications for knowing this? A degree in accounting followed by over a decade as a practitioner within accounting and financial services.

    In addition, the solution this town has implemented presses the delete button on losses due to the transmission of electricity across long distances. The loss I am writing of here is higher in electricity distribution than what it is in any other industry across all of the developed world. Further still, the sun is set to burn for billions of additional years while fossil fuels are becoming harder and harder and harder – and harder – to mine.

    It seems to me that cost is something which is variable over time and comments like yours, whilst valid on a certain level (that of the immediate term or the next three months), have reached saturation point within society. We’ve known about the potential of solar power for over 120 years. Enough sunlight reaches our planetary surface in one day to meet the entire world’s energy needs for one year. Why in hell does the whole world then continue to depend 90% on fossil fuels? On a more 1to1 level, why are you choosing to continue placing the focus on short term costs?

    Tom Livanos.

  9. Cyn January 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    They probably use less electicity because they do things differently. It’s called critical thinking.

  10. ferinyul December 26, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Bravo!
    Es wäre schön, an einem solchen Ort zu leben …
    Francis aus Schweden

  11. cbmfj December 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Did I miss the part where they discussed how much it cost to build the wind turbines, hydro systems, solar panels, etc. This is an important part of the equation. After all if the 2,531 population supplies 320% that equals 8,124.5 people they service. Again, at what cost? Trust me, if this were anywhere near the fantasy of being usable on a larger scale it would be. Without a reduction of consumerism (over all use of EVERYTHING) it don’t really matter. The greatest problem is that people do not understand mathematics and the exponential function.

  12. solaristheway December 19, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    iolantheLA wrote:

    “We made a big mistake electing an Oil Man in 2000.”

    And Obama in 2008 is much worse. He neither stands up to nations like China that have little regard for the environment, nor will he give approval for the Keystone pipeline that would create thousands of US jobs and alleviate the country’s dependency on foreign fuel.

  13. thinkingofsolar December 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Is there any information available on what sort of solar panels they used…in Australia there are so many companies with different types of panels, thats half the battle trying to work out the best quality ones that would deliver maximum energy.

  14. sha457 December 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Wish my City of Fort Worth Texas had spent $50K on solar energy instead of using the money to install showers for city employees in hopes that it would improve their health!

  15. sladen-dew December 11, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    An inspiring decentralized solution. Compare this with the absolute failure of the Kyoto accord.

  16. Phillip Newmarch December 11, 2011 at 6:44 am

    I don’t know how much electricity costs in Germany, but it seems E20/MWh (E0.20/kWh) might be a reasonable guess. Thus, E4m suggests about 200 000 MWh per year.
    Assuming that the system produces 10hrs per day & 200 days per year (allowing for solar AND wind), that suggests that it has a capacity of about 100 MW, roughly 40kW per person.

    If that is 3 times as much as they use themselves, it sounds plausible. At the current 20% efficiency, that might require about 200m2 of PV panel per person. That’s quite a lot, but not astronomical.

    It would be very interesting to have more details and figures.

  17. GFP December 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    This town is a good exemple for many rural community!
    For those who fear the ecological damage caused by the three hydro-electric dams:
    1-) The bioassimilation of the mercury present in the constantly flooded area.
    1+) This impact is low if the area is limited (3 dams have probably less area than 1 big) and will fade rapidely.
    2-) Some species require temporal flooding.
    2+) They managed to get an advantage out of those: they mentionned ecological flood control (It can help to sustain life during dry season).
    3-) A dam cut the migration of species.
    3+) It’s easy to install a migratory pass if the dam is low (a series of bassin and small waterfall).
    4-) The emission of greenhouse gas from the anaerobic decomposition in the flooded area.
    4+) The amount of gas can be limited by reducing the flooded area and by cutting vegetation and collecting the organic soil present before flooding. The emmission is impressive at first but rapidely fade (after 10 years only trace are left).
    I come from the province of Quebec in Canada where the electricity production as been nationnalysed and rely almost entirely on the many dams that were installed. The green house gas emission of the area flooded by our dams is less than the emission caused by the many beaver dams present over the territory. I think hydro-electricity can be sustainable if it’s well planned. And for those who fear the lack of control on the output of the energy during the night I would like to tell you that biogaz can be used when needed.

  18. Waldfrau December 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

    If anybody reads this today (Saturday 12/10), please blast the President – the U.S., China and India a blocking meaningful climate change action at the Durban talks. The U.S. must lead or get out of the way! President Obama must tell his negotiators to stop blocking on climate change. Any attempts to delay climate action will devastate Africa and all coastal nations. Life as we know it depends on action today!

  19. tom livanos December 10, 2011 at 1:52 am

    To Chartres,

    By way of introduction, my name is Tom Livanos. I live in eastern Australia. May I ask you what your name is?

    Your first question about potential damage from the three hydroelectric power plants is a valid one. You are correct: the article does not explain any of the details of its operations. The last line of the article however reads as follows: “From the tour we give, our guests understand how well things can operate when you have the enthusiasm and conviction of the people”. I make two points. The first is that, from what is written about the achievements of the people of Wildpoldsried, this concluding statement does not seem to be an exaggeration. If I, for one, were to entrust anyone with considering the ecological impacts of a hydroelectric power station, I would entrust the people of this village. The second point is: have you perhaps considered what the implications would have been had you been vocal in Wildpoldsried in 1997? Or, when astonishingly high amounts of labour and money were expended in the 1800s to build coal fired power stations? My second point to this paragraph is, as a question, have you thought about where we would be today had your attitude taken hold at either time?

    The other point you make is on base-load power. My response to you here is along similar lines but I will say it in another way. Is it your expectation that generating base-load electricity from solar and wind power go from zero to complete before anything is allowed to be done? I invite you to read the comment I made at 10:19pm on 20 September 2011. The *potential* of solar power to meet the entire world’s present day energy needs is there. Not only is it there, it is there by a factor in the thousands. Is it your expectation that the world turns to solar and wind power within what… a week? a month? a year of your comment? That all the people, all the businesses, all the governments, all the organisations all across the world convert to solar in that time period?

    Well, the last thing I have to write to you is: if that is your expectation, you may want to think about the fact that it takes hundreds of millions of years for fossil fuels to form within the Earth’s crust. You may then want to go to a primary school arithmetic class and ask them if we can continue going on our present path. We burn fossil fuels each year, each month, each week. Not only that, we burn more in each time period (e.g. month say) than we did in any equivalent time period (e.g. month) previous. What about the damage caused there in these burning processes?

    My thankyou to you for reading and, perhaps, for considering. That is all up to you.

    Thankyou and regards,
    Tom Livanos.

    PS. If you are Charles Butterfield (similar username – albeit slightly – to your own), I have not received any reference citing the important piece of information (your words) which you wrote about in your comment of 5:01pm 14 September 2011.

  20. WhiteLabRat December 10, 2011 at 12:43 am

    A few points in response to the responses:

    Those worried about making money once everyone is using a system like this should remember that even just breaking even within your community will save plenty of money without selling any power back at all. That alone is worth it, as well as eliminating outside dependence. Additionally there are always more uses for power. Easy access to cheap power fueled the entire industrial revolution and there is no reason to expect history not to repeat itself. Give humanity a resource and they will find a way to utilize it and make a profit in the process.

    Fossil fuel companies have a limited life span. They either adapt to a changing world or go out of business just like car companies in the 1970′s and 1980′s. Already many communities in the US willingly pay a bit more for ecologically friendly power like the city I live in (of 100,000+ people). Quite frankly people will pay and patronize renewable energy and where there is money innovation and corporations will follow even if some have to be dragged kicking and screaming.

    Finally, electrical power does not some how come in flavors like “base load” vs “renewable”. It is all the same electricity. What you are talking about is the fact that at the moment we do not have enough renewable power to power industry. That does not mean it is not possible. If towns everywhere were producing this much extra power each there would be enough to power anything you want. Where the issue exists is in storage or dispatchability since as of right now wind power and solar are not reliable for on demand use the way say hydroelectric is. This means when demand spikes some one supplies the extra power needed, and often quite a bit of power. Wind and solar are *at the moment* not reliable for this but could easily be with a large shared grid or improvement in storage. Base power requirements are actually quite low in many places and can be met with solar + storage, biomass, geothermal, tidal, or hydroelectric.

    And yes there are ecological impact issues involved. Go take a look at images of coal mining or oil sands or nuclear spent fuel containment measures then come on back here and talk to me about environmental impact. Less impact is better thank you.

  21. Baden50 December 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Hi,

    Bravo.
    I love that this community came together and reduced their carbon footprint, and made it profitable as well. :)
    It is great, they invested in both solar and wind.
    We have solar panels on our home in California. We got a credit on our Federal income Tax and cash back from the State. In total we got back half of what be paid for our system and the solar panels paid for themselves in 7 years.
    We need to come together as a nation and get solar on our homes, one house at a time.
    There are great programs available in the U.S., that can help put solar on homes at a reduced cost.
    Let’s turn the tide and leave a better future for our kids.

  22. Chartres December 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    The article does not state the ecological damage cause by the three hydro-electric dams. Also when the entire country is running on renewable, where will they get the base-load power from to power up their industry and manufacture replacement parts or new parts for their renewable energy systems. Someone has to maintain base-load plants such as coal or nuke, you cannot power a smelter, blast furnace or assembly plant on solar or wind. The only thing they are doing is exporting the production of power. They will let the Chinese build the renewable capture systems and then tout themselves as being environmentally correct, All the while the Chinese plant that builds the wind towers continues to belch pollutants to the atmosphere.

  23. iolantheLA December 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    This could be us, here in America, if only the US Rich and the Corporations were not a “protected class”, with oil-industry politicians and lobbyists being the most protected class of all.

    We made a big mistake electing an Oil Man in 2000.

  24. KK December 9, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Sad to see that there are so many comments with a can’t do because,…. attitude, instead of concentrating on how to find a solution to given possible stepping-stones.

    Good on the village, to show that it can be done!

  25. Pagar December 9, 2011 at 2:32 am

    The reason this works over there is that Germany and other European countries have fair metering laws, where those who sell energy INTO the grid are paid almost what they would have to pay for the energy to take it OUT of the grid. Here in the corrupt USofA, where corporations and their politician puppets rule, we are paid only a tiny fraction of what the energy cost us. The big fossil fuel giants won’t have it any other way! They would rather go to war and kill for more oil that then THEY control, than switch to green energies. That way their bottom line looks good, while we all struggle to pay the bills. Landowners over there can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year selling wind and solar back onto the grid. We need to march over getting fair metering laws here, and get the grid reorganized to take the energy we all could sell!

  26. NewsParticipation December 8, 2011 at 12:22 am

    And Republicans in America say it couldn’t be done. They say that America must remain on coal and oil for life, and possibly go back to using locomotive trains.

  27. tom livanos September 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    To Charles Butterfield/all,

    That is indeed an important piece of information. Perhaps you could refer everyone to an article or web page which allows everyone to clarify more of the details.

    My mind goes back to what it must have been like in the 1830s. Coal fired power was just being developed. I am certain that the first power plants would have been very expensive to build. Public money would have been invested and many taxpayers would not have used the electricity for years, decades or perhaps even their entire life. That is one thing.

    A second thing is that coal is a finite resource. Not only that, the most accessible coal has already been dug out and, as we continue accelerating our use of it, it is being dug out from places which are increasingly inaccessible. The mining is becoming more and more dangerous and is more likely to cause accidents. Solar and wind energy are accessible at a constant rate – and will continue to be for billions of years. In terms of financial costs, fossil fuel energy is only going to get more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more expensive. As the technology to harness wind energy and solar energy improves, this electricity is only going to get cheaper and cheaper to buy. Those who get in first have the advantage of having more money to invest in their own community and can do it now rather than later.

    Third, there is enough in solar energy alone to meet the entire world’s energy needs. Enough sunlight reaches the surface of the Earth in a matter of hours to meet the entire world’s energy needs for an entire year. I could not believe this when I first read about it so I did the numbers myself. It was true. It is not that surprising when you consider that the sun’s volume is 330,000 times the volume of our planet. You might remember those posters in primary school which showed Earth and other planets as dots. The sun was so big, only the edge of it could fit on one side of the poster. It can really, really look after us so long as we respect it.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    Tom Livanos.

  28. Charles Butterfield September 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    A very important piece of information was omitted from that article.

    The important piece of information that is omitted is the amount of money that the national grid pays the village per Kilowatt Hour of electricity.

    This is very expensive electricity. This may be very profitable for the Village, but this is very expensive electricity for the rest of the German Citizens who must pay for this electricity.

    .

  29. asd steve September 13, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Bravo! This is a great example that renewable sustainability is not the future anymore – it is the “now”.

  30. asd steve September 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Bravo! This is a shining example of the direction we need to head.

  31. wetfoot September 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    To remove the need for energy from outside sources will be monumental achievement and huge benefit to local economies.

  32. EddieA August 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    This is intriguing and encouraging. I’d like to leave one question, and a comment:

    As regards night-time energy storage, what is the village using when there is no wind? Are they falling back to hydro (which not everyone can have), batteries, biomass gas, or something else? In heavily populated areas in the US, energy storage would be critical for a plan like this. Batteries are ultimately a dirty technology with significant maintenance, and kinetic batteries are still way expensive.

    Politically, there are only some places in the USA (places like Portland and Boulder) where this kind of scheme might work. Much of the US (esp. the South) is populated by people who hate science, think climate change is a scam, and want to continue to drive their gasoline-fueled trucks as far and as long as they want.

  33. tom livanos August 27, 2011 at 6:06 am

    caeman,

    Thanks for replying.

    As I read Duper’s comment, s/he is starting by saying “If everyone does this…”. S/he is posing a hypothetical situation. It is not real, it is just a question to think about/imagine. Nowhere in his/her comment does s/he suggest everyone is doing it right now or even can. S/he is saying “what if”. What if it actually does happen and, sometime down the track, it does happen? S/he is then asking about/suggesting the implications of that.

    My comment addresses those implications. I am saying, okay, what if… what if it really does happen? I go all the way with that. What happens if the world does reach a point where it is feeding off the sun and the wind. Energy-wise, we can live and produce all our good and provide all our services in this way. If that were to happen some day, money? Are we going to worry about notes and coins or bank balances? What, do the sun and the wind come with cash registers or credit card machines or something..lol?

    You may be right. There are places in the world with higher latitudes. I have looked at it though. Africa, Australia, South America and much of Europe, Asia and North America are at lower latitudes (i.e. closer to the equator) than Wildpoldsried. The sun is *more* powerful there! In short, there is enormous potential for Duper’s scenario to actually come true – especially with **improvements** to technology. It just needs forethought, effort and time. If we keep going with those, we can (and have an obligation to our descendants) to get there.

  34. caeman August 25, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Tom, the money argument is still valid because not every village, town or city is setup the same way. The 321% result in this one German town is not indicative of all German town’s.

  35. Tom Livanos August 25, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Just in relation to Duper’s comment (second one posted), allow me to pose a question. Everyone does this, you say, and there would be no income from it. Have a think about that for a moment. Have a think about a planet which harnesses more energy than what it uses – by a factor of over 3 to 1. Domestic energy use, business energy use, transport, communications, government energy use is sourced at the spot where it is used. Please, I invite you to think about this for one moment. How important is money in this scenario?

  36. paul w king August 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    This provides an exemplar leadership case-study for all communities everywhere to aspire to.
    If it can be done here – without incurring any debt – why not everywhere?
    I shall be writing to my local Member of Parliament to seek [nay, Demand!] a similar initiative in the UK.
    No banking debt, no petrochemicals, no stone-walling – just perfectly acceptable, progressive results…
    Go-to-it!!!

  37. Anumakonda August 24, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Yes. Germany is advancing in Renewables in leaps and bounds.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
    Wind Energy Expert
    E-mail: anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail.com

  38. Buildingwell Buildingwell August 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Wildpoldsried sets the tone for how an organized and concerted effort can truly pay off. The concept and focus of switching to renewable resources is to replace fossil fuel/non-enviro energy sources. Wildpoldsried has not only done that, but been able to turn a profit in the meantime. And while that profit may dwindle/disappear as other communities do the same (and therefore reduce the value/need to sell extra to the national grid), that’s even better news. It can be done, and Wildpoldsried is showing the way.

  39. windclipper August 22, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I also agree with caeman’s comment; we all need to take initiative to help find solutions to the energy questions that affect us all. There may be several problems that crop as others follow this example,but how can we find solutions unless we start moving in a new direction. “The ship has to be in motion before the rudder takes affect.”

  40. msyin August 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I agree with caeman’s comments in regards to this being a great example of how things could be done. I am sure other parts of Germany will take this towns ideas and begin to implement them while the nation is doing other initiatives. Now, if we could just stop bickering here trying to make useless political points and get our butts in gear while we are still stable and have the resources.

  41. srkrause August 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    You can be sure that “big oil” here would quickly have state and local laws put into place to thwart such rational practices. I wonder what they do with $5M+ income?

  42. kara rane August 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Congratulations* completely inspired. the photos are great, clearly show how the windmills, solar panels, are nicely incorporated into the town + surrounding landscape.

  43. Duper August 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I’m all for this, but what happens when energy becomes so abundant that it’s free? If everyone does this, nobody will need to buy energy from towns like this, and the only money flowing will be in upkeep.

  44. caeman August 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Good on them! They aren’t complaining about the appearance of the windmills. They did it without debt. They didn’t wait for the central government to come up with a plan, they took their own initiative and it succeeded. THIS is how it should be done every where.

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