Running a town completely on renewable energy seems far-fetched to many. However for the residents of Wildpoldsried in the German state of Bavaria it’s already a dream come true.
Not only is the town equipped nine new community buildings with solar panels, four biogas digesters (with a fifth in construction now), and seven windmills with two more on the way, but the village has installed solar panels on 190 private households.
The district also benefits from three small hydro power plants, ecological flood control, and a natural waste water system.
Renewables make money
According to an article from Inhabitat.com, the village is producing 321 percent more energy than it needs. This overproduction has allowed the town to produce an impressive $5.7 million in annual revenue by selling extra energy back to the national grid.
The village green initiative first started in 1997 when the town council decided that it should build new industries, keep initiatives local, bring in new revenue, and create no debt.
Wildpoldsried has definitely accomplished what it set out to do. According to the Inhabit.com article, the village has received a number of national and international awards for its conservation and renewable energy initiatives.
Mitigating climate change
The speed with which the village has gone from energy consumer to energy producer -- just 14 years – is impressive.
Village authority, 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.”
It comes as no surprise that the country is the leader in solar power production, especially when the Germans are now powering whole towns with green energy.
In fact initiatives such as the one in Wildpoldsried have helped make Germany the world leader in renewable energy production percentages.
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