Aller-Leine-Tal, Germany

Aller-Leine-Tal, Germany

  • Target: 100+% Renewable Power Region, On Its Way to 100+% Renewable Heat.
  • Status: Achieved - In January 2012, Aller-Leine-Tal produced 108% of its electricity with local renewable sources.
  • RES: Wind turbines, biogas cogeneration plant, solar PV farm and small riverine hydro for electricity. Geothermal energy, biomass and district heating grid for heating.
  • Implementation: The region of Aller-Leine-Tal is located north of Hannover in Lower Saxony, Germany. The region consists of eight municipalities (Kirchlinteln, Dörverden, Wietze, Winsen, Hambühren and the administrative divisions in Ahlden, Rethern, and Schwarmstedt). The regional community has reached and surpassed a 100% renewable electricity goal, and is currently pursuing a 100% renewable heating target. Its efforts began in the late 1990's when the region pledged a commitment to help protect the climate by supporting renewable energy use. In 1996, 60 citizens collaborated to construct the first 660kW windmill. This was eventually replaced by a modern 2.3MW turbine. Today, the region is generating energy from additional 54 windmills, biogas (13 MW), solar PV (14 MW), and some smaller river hydro power providing more energy than needed. To achieve 100% renewable heat, the region will expand use of technologies already employed, including geothermal, biomass to heat, a district heating grid, and improving efficiency. To increase energy conservation, the municipalities offer energy audits and energy consulting. They have also initiated educational programs in local schools to engage and educate students in renewable energy-related activities. The idea is that students should experience and understand renewable energy with there own hands and be given the opportunity to use - and build where possible - renewable energy technologies like wind turbines, water mills, and solar chargers. To increase awareness, the region has created touristic bike paths with more than 40 energy stations that provide information on different renewable energy sources. As an energy exporter, the Aller-Leine-Tal has already set a new target of supplying neighboring areas with renewable energy.
  • Population: 60,087 (2017)
  • Area: 622 km(240 sq mi)
  • Link: http://www.kommunal-erneuerbar.de/energie-kommunen/energie-kommunen/aller-leine-tal.html
Aller-Leine-Tal, Germany

Alzey-Land Region, Germany

Fishmarket, Alzey, Germany

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Wind farms, biogas plants, a hydroelectric power plant and solar power plants.
  • Implementation: The Alley-Land region is a hilly wine growing region comprising 24 local communities, located in the state of Rheinland-Palatinate, Germany. In 2010, the region reached 100% renewable electricity. To also achieve 100% renewable in heating and transportation, it is seeking to further expand its existing renewable energy infrastructure. Today, renewable energy plants in the Alzey region generates more electricity than its inhabitants consume. 38 wind turbines cover more than 91% of the electricity demand. The rest comes from two biogas plants, a hydroelectric power plant and 156 solar power plants.

    The initiatives in the field of wind power have been largely driven by the private sector. The municipality advises, moderates and creates the planning principles with regards to urban land use planning in order to encourage and guide RES installations. In order to make greater use of wind power, the municipality aims to expand areas for the use of wind power and to identify them in its land use plan. Old turbines will be replaced with newer, more powerful wind turbines to improve the wind power harvest. The Alzey region hosts the largest wind farm in the Rhineland-Palatinate called Park Ober-Flörsheim/Flomborn. Besides wind energy, there are over 150 PV systems installed on private houses, commercial buildings and farm buildings. The Freimersheim solar park produces more than 7.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year, able to supply around 2,300 households.
  • Population: 24,805 (2017)
  • Area: 173,87 km²
  • Link: https://www.alzey-land.de/vg/wirtschaft/energiekommune.php
Fishmarket, Alzey, Germany

Burgenland, Austria

Burgenland, Austria

  • Target: 100% of its electricity from local, renewable sources by 2020
  • Status: Achieved - Burgenland managed to supply 100% of its electricity needs through wind power by 2013.
  • RES: Wind power and biomass energy.
  • Implementation: Burgenland is the seventh largest of Austria's nine states. It borders the Austrian states of Styria and Lower Austria, as well as Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. Today, this region in eastern Austria gets 100% of its electricity from local, renewable sources . It all began in 1992, when a local citizen wanted to install a wind turbine on his property and contacts a wind power consultancy. The consultancy recommended to build a large farm in view of the site’s high wind power potential. In the following year, the owner and the consultancy presented the project to the Zurndorf town council. Between 1993 and 1995,  planning and wind measurements were undertaken. In 1994, the municipality decided to create a company for managing the project (where the municipality has a 98% stake). By 1995, the membership of Austria to the European Union, meant that the Burgenland could benefit from EU Structural Funds to carry out infrastructure projects, such as energy. By 1997, the Austrian government decided to increase the share of renewable energy to 3% of final energy use, beginning with the construction of the Zurndorf wind farm. In 2001 the Austrian electricity market was open, and in 2002 Burgenland developed a regional wind power plan. In 2003 the Green Power Act was adopted. By 2009, the Burgenland Energieteam was established to set an energy self-sufficiency target by 2050, accompanied by an action plan. By 2013 self-sufficiency in electricity was already achieved. It is estimated that 4,500 jobs have been created through the development of wind power in Burgenland.
  • Population: 284,900
  • Area: 3,961.80 km(1,529.66 sq mi)
  • Link: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/archive/newsroom/pdf/200912_burgenland.pdf
Burgenland, Austria

Carinthia, Austria

Heiligenblut am Großglockner, Kärnten, Carinthia, Austria

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity achieved. 100% renewable heating by 2025. 100% renewable transport by 2035.
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Hydropower and biomass for heating.
  • Implementation: Carinthia (Kärnten) is a region in the mountains of southern Austria and is one of the leading renewable energy regions in Europe. Carinthia uses 100% renewable electricity from local water power, and all the utilities in the region sell only 100% renewable electricity. The region also uses 70% renewable energy (biomass) for heating, with a goal reaching 100% by 2025. Currently 12% of transportation demand is covered by renewables with an aim to get to 100% by 2035. By 2013, 55% of Carinthia's total energy supply was coming from renewable sources. Despite an increase in building space of 40% from 1990 to 2011, Carinthian households were able to achieve a 45% reduction in CO2 emissions during this period thanks to the region's energy choices. Renewable energy, along with other advanced technologies, contribute to the local industry base, with pump storage companies, a solar thermal factory and a cluster of biomass businesses all making the region their home.
  • Population: 557,371 (2015)
  • Area: 9,535.97 km(3,681.86 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.ktn.gv.at/Service/Publikationen?kid=5
Heiligenblut am Großglockner, Kärnten, Carinthia, Austria

Coelbe District, Germany

Kasseler Straße, Cölbe, Germany

  • Target: 100% renewable energy overall for the community by 2040
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar and biomass energy.
  • Implementation: Coelbe district in Germany is made up of six rural communities (Bernsdorf, Buergeln, Coelbe, Reddehausen, Schoenstadt and Schwarzenborn), located in the state of Hessen. In 2011, the Coelbe government unanimously decided across political party lines to set a community wide target of using only renewable energy resources to meet demand by the year 2040. Similarly in January 2012, the state of Hessen decided  to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
    Coelbe has created a climate protection plan that lays out how they will achieve the 100% target. The plan takes into account appropriate technologies, costs, integration with climate goals, public relations, and action steps. Coelbe anticipates that by transitioning to renewable energy and efficiency upgrades, it will save up to € 5 million in energy costs annually. Milestones achieved so far include solar panel installations on several municipal properties. The largest generates enough electricity to meet more than 10% of Coelbe's power demand. It is jointly owned by the municipality and by individuals who have personally invested in shares or certificates that generate 6.8% returns, ensuring that the local citizens and community reap the economic benefits of the solar system. Another example of community's energy transition is a heating grid in Schoenstadt built by the village cooperative, fueled by wood chips from the local saw mill, and which supplies heat for 80% of the village buildings. Such projects have attracted visitors from other countries to come learn best practices and have engaged local community members to volunteer to help manage them.
  • Population: 11600 (2017)
  • Area: 73 km2 (28.18 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.coelbe.de/energie/mein-coelbe/111-energie/173-erneuerbare-energien
Kasseler Straße, Cölbe, Germany

Communauté de Communes du Mené, France

Pontrieux, Le Mené, France

  • Target: 100% Renewable Energy by 2030
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Biomass and biogas energy.
  • Implementation: The Communauté de Communes du Mené is composed of 7 villages in Mené, located in the Côtes d'Armor region in Brittany, France. Due to the abundance in  agricultural resources and the need to boost their local economy, they decided to embark on a plan to achieve 100% renewable based on local energy, by 2030. It all began in  the early 2000's when local farmers began to seriously worry about their impact on the environment and local economic development. To tackle this challenge, they first set themselves an interim target of becoming zero net energy--that is producing as much energy as it consumes--for heating and electricity by 2012. Since then, several milestones has been reached. In 2007, a facility that produces rapeseed oil and diesel for tractors was opened in Saint Gouéno . The plant also makes cattle cake that is used by local dairy farmers (which eliminated the need to import soy cattle cake from Brazil). In two other Communes in Mené, locally grown wood was sourced to generate heating for 4500 square meters of buildings, which soon replaced 300 tonnes of petroleum based heating oil. Heating systems will also add wood from a plantation irrigated by waste water from Géotexia, a new biogas plant. Work is underway on a 25 MW wind farm, and 35 new zero-energy residential buildings are being developed.
  • Population: 6 453 (2012)
  • Area: 163,23 km²
  • Link: https://www.mene.fr/environnement-developpement-durable/les-energies/
Pontrieux, Le Mené, France

Extremadura, Spain

Extremadura, Spain

  • Target: 100% renewable energy
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Solar energy, wind power and hydropower.
  • Implementation: The region of Extremadura in southwestern Spain is one of the country's leaders in renewable energy installation. In 2010, its electricity demand was met by entirely renewable sources for the first time. In that year, the higher than usual winds and rainfalls, made its wind power and hydroelectric plants more productive than usual. It even enabled Spain to export electricity to France for the first time. Under normal weather conditions, Extremadura would only meet 78% of power demand with renewable technologies. However, renewable electricity installation has progress rapidly in the region in the last decade, which will see 100% renewable energy achievable for the long-term . For example, Extremadura today region gathers over 40% of Spanish concentrated solar power (CSP) projects. Wind energy has also been boosted and in 2011 the first 97 wind parks were approved in Extremadura, with more than 1.700MW. Biomass is an emerging sector, due to the large quantity of available resources of the region. Many plants are being promoted and an average of 150MW is expected to be implanted in the next 3 years.
  • Population: 1,087,778 (2016)
  • Area: 41,634 km2 (16,075 sq mi)
  • Link: http://www.eneragen.org/en/members/extremadura-energy-agency/
Extremadura, Spain

Freisingerland, Germany

Mariendom, Freising, Germany

  • Target: 100% renewable electricity target by 2035
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar energy
  • Implementation: In 2005, 24 municipalities in the district of Freising, north of Munich, Germany decided to create the “Solar Region Freisingerland” with the target of 100% renewable electricity target by 2035. The idea was implemented together with many associations and organizations from the district. By establishing a cooperation agreement between "Sonnenkraft-Freising" as initiator and "Freisinger Land" (the regional marketing initiative at the time) as partner, the idea was able to be launched effectively. Though this initiative, the “Solar-Kreisliga” competition involving the municipalities was set up to stimulate the shift to renewable energy in the region. Towns would compete to attain the highest renewable energy generation compared with their recorded electricity consumption.

    By 2010, 6 municipalities had reached their 100% renewables electricity goal and were named energy champions. At this time, the region was already producing 54.6% electricity from renewables. The results were promoted via regular energy brochures and today, latest results are distributed to all political leaders in the district. Recently the "Bürgeringerergiegenossenschaft Freisinger Land" was established as a county-wide institution to assist citizens to better transition to renewable energy. It is estimated that if recent activities in renewable energy continue, the solar region could reach their goal of 100% renewables electricity by 2020. 
  • Population: 164,692 (2007)
  • Link: http://solarregion-freisinger-land.de
Mariendom, Freising, Germany

Fukushima, Japan

Fukushima, Japan

  • Target: Cover a minimum of 100% of primary energy demand with renewable resources by 2040
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Windpower, solar thermal heating, photovoltaics, biomass for power and heating, geothermal energy, and hydropower.
  • Implementation: The prefecture of Fukushima is located in the Tōhoku region on the east coast of Japan on the island of Honshu. The Great East Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami and disaster at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 motivated the people of Fukushima to re-examine their energy system and ways of restoring industry in the shattered region. This led to the vision of transitioning to renewable energy as a way forward. Fukushima now has officially committed to cover a minimum of 100% of primary energy demand in Fukushima with renewable resources by 2040. Part of this plan involves taking advantage of strong offshore wind by building a large floating wind farm off the coast of Fukushima. The total cost of the farm is estimated to be  ¥18.8 billion (approx. $189 million USD). Still, the first 2 MW turbine was delivered in 2013. In 2015, Phase 2 was completed, bringing online two 7 MW wind turbines.

    By 2020, the goal is to have 143 large wind turbines totalling 1 GW in capacity 10 miles off the Fukushima coast. The massive size of turbines will call for them to be locally constructed, which means local jobs in manufacturing and maintenance. With its existing automotive and airplane industries, useful components to the wind turbine industry will be available. The Fukushima plan also envisions other technologies and resources, including solar thermal heating, photovoltaics, biomass for power and heating, geothermal energy, and hydropower. Fukushima Prefecture has held several educational and industry events to attract support for its renewable energy plan.
  • Population: 1,877,876 (2018)
  • Area: 13,782.76 km(5,321.55 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/11/national/fukushima-powers-toward-100-goal-renewables-grid-cost-woes-linger/#.XHP93C2ZOIY
Fukushima, Japan

Gotland, Sweden

Gotland, Sweden

  • Target: Climate-neutral energy supply by 2025
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Wind power
  • Implementation: The Swedish Island of Gotland is committed to having a climate-neutral energy supply by 2025. The objective is to use 100% local, renewable resources to meet all of the energy demand for households and business on Gotland, except for industrial fuels. Gotland has implemented an array of innovative renewable energy projects.  This is largely due to it having the highest sunlight strength in Sweden, is one of the top wind locations in Europe, and has good access to biofuels. The municipality's sustainability initiative already began in the early 1990s, with the aim of creating a sustainable society by 2025. This would not only apply for the energy sector, but also for all resources, agriculture, and waste. Since then, the municipality has already cut its CO2 emissions from fossil fuels nearly in half.  A quarter to half of the entire island's annual electricity demand is met with wind power, and heating is produced with biofuels from local forests. In 2010, Gotland installed its first biogas station for fueling cars and buses, which today totals four stations. In 2017, the first public filling station for HVO was opened. There are also several loading stations for electric vehicles across the island. Wind power development has since grown but existing sea cables have been found to be limited in capacity. The Swedish Government's National Energy Agency is conducting a feasibility study on Gotland as a pilot case for a renewable energy system smart grid to address this challenge.
  • Population: 58,595 (2017)
  • Area: 3,183.7 km2 (1,229.2 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.gotland.se/eco
Gotland, Sweden