Bamberg is switching to renewable energy

The county and the city of Bamberg have set the goal of making the energy consumption for the region’s 210,000 people 100 percent independent and from renewable sources by 2035. And that’s not only in the electricity sector; heating should also be completely converted to renewable energy. “The realisation that the city could not reach the goal of energy independence on its own was one of the reasons for the cooperation between county and city,” comments the environment representative of the city Bamberg, Günter Reinke.

The basis for the cooperation between the district administrator and the Bamberg city mayor is the ‘climate alliance’ of 2008. “With its goal of having combined energy independence, the climate alliance offers a solution for an important question of communal welfare. Cities as the energy user, and the surrounding area as its producer, can work together to find a renewable energy supply,” summises Mayor Starek.

Despite extensive initiatives, it became quickly apparent that the Bamberg city authorities did not have the potential to convert to renewable energy on its own. The large usage stood in contrast to a lack of usable space. All of the participants agreed that without using the potential of the surrounding districts there would be no energy transformation in the city.

During an analysis, the city and county examined the establishment of regenerative supply models in the region and the subsequent spheres of activity. This study provided them with a basis to begin the planning of grounds and energy parks and to include this in a joint planning of space. As a next step, an energy concept for the city and county are to be created. A solar farm for the city and county is already finished.

Through the decentralised character of renewable energy, the profits from energy costs are distributed between different municipalities. Industry is also taking part in the development of renewable energy. Many companies and breweries in both the city and the county are beginning to finance solar and wind-powered equipment or block heating stations as well as woodchip systems. Whereas today the city and the county use 11 percent of their energy from renewable sources, in 2035 this should be 100 percent for electricity and heating. The city and the county of Bamberg predict that about 60 percent of the electricity will come from wind power in 2035. Compost, at around 20 percent, should also cover a significant part of the electricity generation; for heating it should be even more.

In the German city of Bamberg, both city and county are working together towards a 100-percent supply of renewable energy. This should be realised by 2035 – reason enough for the Renewable Energies Agency to declare Bamberg the “Energy Municipality” of the month for August 2010.
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