The rural area – a place with infinite energyCase study in the Verbandsgemeinde (community of municipalities) Wörrstadt
In the Verbandsgemeinde (VG) Wörrstadt, companies, municipalities and citizens profit from the benefits of renewable energy.
2012 represented a turning point of climate protection for the VG Wörrstadt, as it was the first time in the VG that more electricity was produced with renewable energy than was used. An impressive development for the municipalities in the Alzey-Worms district: while the regenerative electricity production only covered half of what was required in 2010, the VG’s electricity consumption of about 92 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2012 stands in stark contrast to the impressive 170 million kWh of renewable energy that is available. Wörrstadt has therefore reached a magnitude that is also relevant for the regenerative electricity supply of neighbouring metropolitan areas.
The lion’s share of this electricity comes from a 5.6-megawatt solar park as well as 22 wind turbines which the juwi group erected close to the A 63 autobahn. It was very important to both the project developer and the municipalities that many citizens in the VG profit from these projects. The VG, which at the end of 2011 was the first German municipality to acquire a wind turbine, can include the income from the turbine directly into its municipal budget – in addition to the lease and trade tax revenues from the operation of the plants. Many private customers obtain affordable electricity directly from local wind energy plants and they can invest in green financial investments such as wind energy savings bonds and assets.
There are winners on all sides: Because it obtained its company headquarters in the summer of 2008, the juwi group can strongly represent the feasibility of a completely renewable energy mix. The award-winning timber office complex can accommodate around 1,500 employees and receives its energy for electricity (photovoltaics), heat (biogas, wood pellets, solar thermal energy) and cooling (water cooling, geothermal energy) solely from renewable energy sources. This makes the company headquarters an attractive point of interest, as some 10,000 visitors came from near and far in 2012.