100 RES Communities visits “solar athletes” in Southern Bavaria
After a short stop at the international solar fair „Intersolar“ in Munich, deENet colleague Amanda Groschke continued her journey to the district of Landshut in southern Bavaria, where the 13th champions ceremony of the „Solarbundesliga“, Germany´s national RES league, took place on June 22nd 2013. Hosting municipality was Schalkham.
In contrast to the RES Champions League, the "Solarbundesliga" only covers the use of solar energy in the participating towns and municipalities. Five size-related categories give towns the chance to compete. Apart from this, there is a special ranking for town districts. Each watt of solar heat or power per inhabitant guarantees one point. The Solarbundesliga is being organized by the journal “Solarthemen” in cooperation with Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. since 2001.
After a friendly get-together of all the participants inside the beautiful monastery of Johannesberg, a bus took everyone through a sunny landscape. The mayor of Schalkham, Lorenz Fuchs, presented his community during an information tour through the village, which is working on the energy transition for 20 years now. Schalkham is by the way one of the champions of the first RES Champions League season in 2010. Especially the enormous solar energy generation (more than 1,5 m² of solar heat production per capita) is outstanding. The winners´ ceremony took place in the early evening in the convention hall of the monastery. Altogether, 2345 German municipalities took part in the competition.
Amanda Groschke presented „100% RES Communities“ and the RES Champions League to the audience during the ceremony and drew the participants´ interest. Among other points she determined again that networking is still one of the most important points of joining actions and projects for energetically active municipalities, which some of the participants already knew the initiatives Covenant of Mayors and RURENER and appreciated these networks to be revived again. Possible challenges for a quick implementation of more networking activities that have been pointed out were the variety of and confusingly high number of networking opportunities for interested RES partners. Furthermore, the participants argued that national networks were still prioritized in comparison to international ones due to the similarities inside one country (language, legal frame etc.). It was therefore a very target-aimed contribution to the promotion of Covenant of Mayors and RURENER.
The key to drawing many German municipalities to the RES Champions League next season has been established. Although the Solarbundesliga gathered partners with specialization in solar energy, most of them are also active in other RES. An enlargement of the league towards other RES is currently being discussed and pushed forward by deENet.