Zero Emission Village with educating cartoon – Weilerbach
„With renewable energies money and jobs are kept in the region!“ knows Teresa Karayel, Energy Transition-Manager of Weilerbach – an association of 8 municipalities (14.700 inhabitants plus 4.000 Americans). The community represents one of the front-runners in Germany when it comes to the transition to a 100% renewable energy supply. The demand for electricity and heating is covered by a growing mix of photovoltaic, solarthermy, wind power, biomass, and borehole heat exchangers. During the working period of the research project DEMS (Decentralized Energy Management System), regional electricity producers have been linked with electricity consumers and weather forecasting has been used in order to plan the application of the energy plants efficiently.
Being part of the EU-Project Sustainable Energy Management System (sems; period: 2007-2012) Weilerbach set the goal to become a Zero Emission Village. The community made big steps towards this aim, especially in the realm of building renovation enabled through an extensive consultation and support of citizens.
In accordance with the motto “Save energy and have fun!“ a straw-based „plus energy“-house was built in the course of the project and its operating mode was explained in an educative manner by showing an animated cartoon titled “The three little pigs”. Based on the popular short film with the same title, the cartoon explains the advantages of a “plus energy” house to adults and kids. Technically, energy is gained in this house by storing solar energy in a concrete core-activated bottom panel in fall, which can then be used for heating purposes over winter and early spring.