Wolfhagen, Germany

Wolfhagen, Germany

  • Target: 100% RE electricity supply by 2015.
  • Status: Achieved
  • RES: Windpark, a biomass and biogas plant, a small household RE systems.
  • Implementation: Wolfhagen is a small, idyllic German town, located in the Kassel District of the Federal State of Hesse. Its 100% RE achievement was a response to an increasing number of energy mandates and expenditures faced years earlier. By adopting an RE strategy, it was able to eliminate its dependence on fossil fuels and external energy suppliers, and keep revenues within the region which benefit its citizens directly. RE has also helped create many new jobs in the town. An important milestone for the city's energy transition was reached in 2003 when the council decided to buy back the electricity grid. The decision led to the “remunicipalization” of the grid by the municipally owned utility, Stadtwerke Wolfhagen. In 2008, Stadtwerke organized an excursion to a wind farm for representatives of all local political parties and less than four weeks later the sitting council officially adopted the 100% RE target. A broad participatory process was launched by the municipal administration with several stakeholders from the local forestry industry and businesses, as well as with conservationists. In 2012, in keeping with the political commitment to ensure citizens directly benefit from RE investments, the citizen-based energy cooperative BürgerEnergieGenossenschaft Wolfhagen was founded. By that time, the German Renewable Energy Act, the national legal framework, enabled rapid realisation of RE projects. Wolfhagen's RE strategy is centered on Windpark Rödeser Berg and Solarpark Gasterfeld, a biomass and biogas plant owned by local farmers, and many private household production systems. The local citizen energy cooperative holds a 25% share in the municipally owned utility Stadtwerke Wolfhagen. This partnership between cooperative and municipal utility fosters democratization of energy production and fair distribution of benefits. Harmonizing supply with demand remains a key focus in Wolfhagen's RE strategy. The town aims to establish a smart network that links households to the municipal utility which would optimize household devices, for example, at times when a lot of wind and sun energy is transmitted to the grid. It allows Stadtwerke Wolfhagen to send signals to households to start up and take advantage of lower-priced wind and sun-generated electricity. A pilot project of 35 households is underway with the intention of developing an evidence-based business model.
  • Population: 13,121 (2017)
  • Area: 111.95 km2(43.22 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/28/small-town-wolfhagen-community-revolution-german-europe-energy-contract
Wolfhagen, Germany

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