Bio-Energy Village in the Black Forest

The successful citizen struggle against construction of a nuclear power plant close to Freiburg triggered very early engagement with alternative energy sources in the region. Today, some municipalities in rural areas consider generation of their own energy from renewable sources such as wood pellets, bio gas, wind energy, solar power and hydropower, to be an important part of their community values. The municipality of Freiamt, with 4,300 inhabitants, produces it’s own electricity and heat using almost every type of renewable energy source. Solar, wind and hydro power plants as well as a biogas power plant produce more than 300% of the local electricity requirement, allowing them to feed surplus energy into the grid. Solar collectors are used for water heating, and wood chips, pellet heaters and waste heat from biogas production provide general heating. In addition to numerous farmers’ private projects, civil cooperatives provided most of the funding for wind turbines and the turbines were actively supported by the municipality. An example of an excursion to a bio-energy village can be found here: Bio-Energy in the Black Forest