Empowering People: what chances for community energy ?
How can we promote community-based and -governed renewable energy in the EU ? We want to present the background of energy transition and the role of community energy in the transition. We'd like to focus on policy as part of the enabling environment, with focus on developments in Germany and the Netherlands. Possibly also EU policies/ incentives. In a more workshop oriented part we can share practical experiences, grass root experience from energy cooperatives, having an open discussion focusing on certain questions (e.g., limits & barriers; financing; scaling up).
If the need for more renewable energy* or more democracy seems pretty obvious to most of us, the need for more (citizen) ownership is generally less clear. And even less the combination of the three: community energy. Insights into the multiple benefits of community energy as a transformative process.
I am currently working on a paper to compare the French and German laws on renewable energies and the production of electricity that were presented in 2014. During my hunt for information, I came across a very interesting presentation from the French-German office for Renewable Energy (based in Berlin) that give very nice figures. It is in French, but surely understandable for a wider non-French speaking audience. Click on the image hereafter to be redirected to the presentation.
Then tomorrow, we go to Feldheim, which is a village 100 % sustainable for electricity and warmth production. Can't wait to visit it! There is an article in the Speigel about it, but it is from 2012 and they now have a renewable energy center to inform visitors. I'll dutifully report on that!
A (good) month has passed without me posting anything... But the new year is here and it is time to give some updates on my energy side of life! But before we start, my best wishes for a year full of energy, with wind in the back! Well, you know my wish for 2015: finding a job! (not too original I agree, but desperately true!)
In december, we had a course on the Environment laws in Germany, and I was appointed with the task: "Noise emission by wind turbines: relevance for getting authorisation to build and in terms of environmental regulations"...
I know the title reads weird... That was also my first reaction to last week's task: prepare a presentation on the "obligation to add instruments to control wind parks remotely" (this is in the new energy law in Germany). What came to my mind first was that:
An unusual post this week, with a little bit of advertising for a very innovative company who is making electricity using kites! Find as usual the update on my training and news from the "find-a-job" front.
Last friday, I visited a (huge) trade fair for wind energy in Hamburg. That was the occasion to set a first foot on this new planet and I came back both enthusiastic and a bit overwhelmed.... Click on read more (lower-right corner)... to read more!
I started my training on the 1rst of September. The courses take place every day from 08.00 to 14-16.00 and are in German. So for me double effect: technical + German lesson! I must admit that I am pretty drained when I come back home...
So far, we had courses on the use of the Microsoft Project and SAP softwares to manage projects and deal with financing and human resources. We had also an introduction to mechanics (cinematic and static), which took me back in time! I skipped the English lessons, as I already have my CAE certificate at C2 level. What I liked most was the course on the fundamentals of wind turbines and wind parks. During the first lesson, we prepared a presentation with another student on a type of drive train (shaft + gear box + generator) in the nacelle. I enjoyed the process of building up knowledge by looking by ourselves for information.
We also had a look into financing of wind parks and legislation. I'll have a deeper look by myself at the EEG tax, which is the building brick of the energy transition in Germany and has been modified in the summer. The 2014 amendment is very much discussed and I will put my nose into it in the coming weeks.
On the program next week : the international Wind Energy Messe in Hamburg! I will go with some classmates on friday 26th, and I'll dutifully report!