- Target: Carbon neutral by 2034, and 100% renewable by 2050.
- Status: In progress
- RES: Solar, biomass, wind, geothermal and hydropower energy.
- Implementation: The municipality of Niestetal is located in the district of Kassel in the state of Hesse, Germany. In 2012, a decision was made by the state to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Four years earlier in 2008, motivated by the climate crisis, the people of Niestetal decided to commit to replacing all of their energy use with renewable resources. They would primarily source solar energy, and additionally biomass, wind, geothermal, and a small amount of hydropower. The target became the focus of the municipality's Integrated Climate Protection Plan launched in 2009. The plan contained around 20 measures that various community stakeholders can implement in order to reach the municipality's declared goal to become carbon neutral by 2034.
Key to Niestetal's 100% renewable plan is to adopt high efficiency construction standards. With the support of public incentives that help bring down up front costs, five percent of the community's homes underwent energy efficiency retrofits from 2011-2013. Homeowners reportedly reduced their home energy requirement by 20-30% and their investment in the energy upgrades paid back within 5-6 years. Niestetal is utilizing the renewable energy expertise of several local companies and institutions,which include the University of Kassel, the energy research network deENet, and the international solar photovoltaic inverter and monitoring company SMA. SMA provides about 3000 local jobs, which helps add to the local value chain created by the renewable energy transition. Niestetal is one of four municipalities making up the German section of the Energy Region program, an EU funded cooperation between several European countries to further sustainable development of renewable energy.
- Population: 11,030 (2017)
- Area: 22.15 km2 (8.55 sq mi)
- Link: (In German) https://www.niestetal.de/gv_niestetal/Bauen%20&%20Klimaschutz/Klimaschutz/Klimaschutzkonzept/integriertes%20klimaschutzkonzept%20fr%20die%20gemeinde%20niestetal.pdf