400% Renewable Electricity
Community owned solar power plant Großbardorf, Photo credit: Agrokraft
Ground-breaking ceremony for the heating network Großbardorf 01/06/2011, Photo credit: Agrokraft
Bioenergy for Großbardorf: The new biogas plant with central heating and district heating network is a joint project with many participating farmers and citizens. 120 connected households are supplied with heat, the electricity will be fed into the grid, Photo credit: ReginaVossenkaul, joule.agrarheute.com
Solar grandstand roofing at the soccer stadium Großbardorf, Photo credit: Agrokraft
100% Renewable Energy Goal Achieved - 400% Renewable Power
In the small Bavarian village of Großbardorf, local citizens invested and leveraged outside capital worth $19 million over four years to develop rooftop and larger scale solar systems, along with a biogas plant that feeds both a combined heat and power (CHP) plant and a district heating network. Combined, the projects generate 400% of the electricity the village’ needs and 50% of its heating demand. Großbardorf is considering expanding to new business opportunities that rely on its advanced heating network. One example is local fish farming tanks that use heat from the biogas plants to heat the water.
Großbardorf has been clever at motivating citizens to pitch in. For instance, when the town’s home football team moved up in the ranks, regulations called for a new stadium roof. Rather than turn to a bank or big business to finance the project, the town solicited its citizens to invest in solar panels for the new roof, in exchange for season tickets to the popular football "soccer" games. The locals went for the deal, leaving the income from the electricity produced by the solar panels to pay off the expense of the new roof.
The village's renewable energy progress would not have been possible without the Renewable Sources Act (EEG), the German feed-in tariff (FIT) law that guarantees interconnection of renewables into the grid, payment of any needed grid upgrades by the utilities, and adequate, long term payment to renewable power generators for any electricity they feed in to the grid.