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Panel Smart Communities
VDE Renewables
2022-05-12 publication

VDE Renewables' forum at EM Power: 'Smart Communities in the Energy Transition'

On the occasion of Intersolar 2022 VDE Renewables invited to the Forum „Smart Communities in the Energy Transition“. Several stakeholders on the panel such as energy providers, municipal climate protection officers and citizen energy cooperatives discussed effective measures for municipalities to support energy transition.

"The potential for pv-systems is still enormous. Here, communities could play a central role" says Ulrike Jahn, senior expert at VDE Renewables.

Jahn recommended, communities could build up a solar potential register where residents can easily check if their buildings or free spaces are suitable to install a solar plant and how much energy they could produce. Local government fundings could bring additional incentives.

A role model is the Bavarian provincial town Wunsiedel. The managing director of the local energy supplier SWW Wunsiedel, Marco Krasser, showed his vision of a CO2-neutral energy supply: “Until today we haven’t achieve anything in our goal to reduce CO2 emissions. Most important is to ensure that all citizens participate.” VDE Renewables and the city of Wunsiedel have built a unique partnership in setting standards and verifying the efficiency of local measures.

At the panel Alois Schläffer, regional manager from the climate model region Saalachtal in Austria, illustrated that the energy transition is a bottom-up movement. It was a citizen movement from the start. Citizens and private companies were among the first interested in investing in their own PV-systems, either for self use or for supplying the energy to get their return on investment.

Andreas Henze from the citizen energy cooperative Bürger Energie Genossenschaft – Freisinger Lang presented the outcomes of a survey for the Freising district, how much effort is needed for the complete energy revolution – driving, heating, producing and running all our technical devices only with renewable resources. At the moment only ten percent of the roof top area in Freising is used. Until 2035 the due could increase only to 30 percent. That means about 30 additional windmills are required, as well as 400 – 500 hectares open landscape for pv-modules.

Professor Dr. Dominikus Bücker from Technische Hochschule Rosenheim showed how regional actors could cooperate to make the energy revolution come true. University, private businesses or citizens are in a constant exchange. One campaign is the climate beer mat: Beer mats for local pups that explain several climate myths.

VDE Renewables CEO Burkhard Holder thanked the panel participants for giving a realistic picture of where we are standing now: “Even the most innovative community has difficulties to cope the challenges of climate change. In addition we have a shortage of skilled labor, so we need a holistic approach.”

On the Podium from left to right: Moderator Ulrike Jahn, Andreas Henze, Marco Krasser, Dominikus Bücker, Burkhard Holder, Alois Schläffer